There is something about the name, shrike, that strikes terror.
Today, I spotted a Northern Shrike within meters of where yesterday I watched a Northern Pygmy Owl. Each bird is a rare to uncommon winter resident in our valleys. They are about the same size, and each is a deadly predator upon other birds of about its own size or smaller.
So what happens when they meet?
As each attacks another bird from behind, it may just depend upon which gets the drop on the other. One anecdote does not a case make, but, here is a link to a picture where the owl won.
A Northern Shrike sits beside a path across from yesterday’s Northern Pygmy Owl.
The shrike was not as tolerant of humans walking along the path as was the owl. While the owl seemed to view passing humans with disdain, the shrike quickly decamped.