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1 December 2005 An Apparent Case of Cooperative Hunting in Immature Northern Shrikes
Kevin C. Hannah
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Cooperative hunting is a behavior rarely observed in passerine birds. I observed two immature Northern Shrikes (Lanius excubitor invictus) apparently hunting cooperatively while preying on American Tree Sparrows (Spizella arborea) in central Alaska. During each of three foraging attempts, both shrikes appeared to work together to flush prey from dense cover into the open where it was then pursued. Cooperative hunting in this otherwise solitary species may be an adaptive behavior among inexperienced birds to increase their foraging efficiency, or to compensate for seasonal fluctuations in the accessibility or availability of prey.

Kevin C. Hannah "An Apparent Case of Cooperative Hunting in Immature Northern Shrikes," The Wilson Bulletin 117(4), 407-409, (1 December 2005).
Received: 6 December 2004; Accepted: 1 July 2005; Published: 1 December 2005
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