When I arrived home some time after dark with my older two kids in tow (basketball practice), Mr. Attitude had some news for me. "Mom! I saw a big gray bird!" Cool! I asked him "Was it this big?", while approximating the size of a Gray Jay with my hands. That would have been a rare thing! "No", he said, making a smaller measurement with his hands. "But it was bigger than a chickadee?" "Oh yeah!"
Then he got out the camera. The boy, who just turned 9 on Monday, had taken PICTURES!
Northern Shrikes are a rare, but pretty reliable winter visitor around here. We usually see one on the Christmas Bird Count, but they are solitary and you have to know what to look for. They are predators, and this one was probably scouting the bird feeder. I love their gray color and black mask.