Size:  9”

Plumage/Description:  Male and female plumage similar.  A bold black mask that extends from the beak, through the eye all the way to the nape of the neck is diagnostic.  The entire body is a soft gray color; black wings and tail.  White outer tail feathers and a solid white wing patch visible when in flight.

Habitat:   Grassland, Oak/Chaparral,

Time of year:  Winter

Relative Abundance:  Uncommon

Behavior:  This small songbird is a bird of prey and eats a wide variety of live food sources, including birds, mice, lizards, snakes, grasshoppers, etc.  Typically perches in an open, exposed location where it has good visibility for hunting purposes.  Has the unique habit of impaling its prey on thorns or barbed wire.

Diet:  Birds, mice, lizards, snakes, grasshoppers.

Similar species:  Mockingbird

Best Sites:  Area surrounding Willow Lake, and in the grassland habitats in both Chino Valley and Prescott Valley, particularly north of highway 89A