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Shrike Pair And Hawthorn By Robert Bateman

By Robert Bateman

Although I am a great supporter of wilderness, an important part of my psyche has a strong pull toward the hand of man interacting with nature. However, this must be traditional human activity, not the modern industrial variety. Many of the happiest hours of my childhood were spent roaming old pastures. Old pastures gave a perfect mixed habitat for variety in nature. A common tree species was the hawthorn or thorn apple, which gave great protection for nesting birds. In spring, the smell of hawthorn flowers fills me with joy of that season, and in fall the red berries not only look decorative, but also provide food for many species. Hawthorns have also always been associated with shrikes. The shrike’s nickname is the “butcher bird” because of its tendency to impale prey on a thorn. - Robert Bateman

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