A scattering of redpoll feathers on top of the fresh snow suggested a very recent kill. Soon after I spotted a young Northern Shrike, half-concealed in the spruce tree outside our kitchen window.
For about twenty minutes I watched it preen and eye the nearby finches. Moments before launching itself at a redpoll, the shrike assumed a more horizontal posture and took on a longer, sleeker appearance.
[click on images to enlarge]