Nests in taiga and taiga-tundra ecotone, where trees and shrub > 1 m occur with open landscape and in alder, willow, and poplar stands that extend beyond spruce line and into tundra (Cade and Swem 1995). Prefers edges and open willow shrub areas in Alaska (Andres 1999b). Also utilizes open deciduous or coniferous woodland, taiga, thickets, bogs, scrub and, locally, semi-desert (AOU 1983). Occasionally found in urban and suburban areas (Cade and Atkinson 2002). In B.C., breeds from 800 to 1,250 m in elevation (Campbell et al. 1997).
Andres, B.A. 1999b. Landbird conservation plan for Alaska biogeographic regions. Version 1.0. Boreal Partners in Flight Working Group. October 1999. USFWS, Anchorage, Alaska.
AOU. 1983. Check-list of North American birds. 6th ed.American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington D. C.
Cade, T. J. and E. C. Atkinson. 2002. Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor). In: A. Poole and F. Gill, (eds.). In: The Birds of North America, No. 671 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists’ Union.
Cade, T. J. and T. Swem. 1995. Ecology of Northern Shrikes nesting in arctic Alaska. Proc. West. Cound. Vertebr. Zool. 6 (1):204-214.
Campbell, R. W., N. K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J. M. Cooper, G. W. Kaiser, M. C. E. McNall, and G. E. J. Smith. 1997. The Birds of British Columbia. Volume 3. Passerines: flycatchers through vireos. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver. 693 pages.