RIP Trampas
July 1, 2014 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Trampas, aka StudBook 424, passed away this week, leaving behind over 770 descendants, at the ripe old age of 13, the longest life known for a loggerhead shrike.

He was a key part of the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Captive Breeding Facility, run by the San Diego Zoo. It was created to help save the endangered species.

His flirting technique was even written up in the LA Times:
'"He gives you a front-row seat to shrike mating behavior," said Jaelean Carrero, a research coordinator for the zoo's shrike effort.

Other mating pairs -- some wild, some captive -- have been good breeders, but none with the brio and proficiency of Trampas and his longtime mate, known as Mrs. Trampas.'
posted by gingerbeer (14 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Oh sure...she does all the work and he takes all the credit. Typical.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:16 PM on July 1, 2014 [14 favorites]

Loggerhead shrikes are a blast to watch and make the most amazing sounds. They also are extremely territorial and have been known to impale lizards and insects on barbed wire and other sharp objects as way to designate their territory. The fact that Trampas live to the age of 13 is incredible.
posted by photoslob at 1:18 PM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

In the end, we all recognized that unless something was done, the shrike would probably disappear in a matter of a few years. We decided to go forward with a notice of intent to sue, in the hope that the threat of litigation might get the Navy’s attention.

It certainly did. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy quickly responded, inviting us to meet with her to discuss the situation. When Gerald, Craig Harrison (representing ABC), and I arrived at the Pentagon, we were expecting a short meeting with the deputy assistant secretary and perhaps one or two of her staff. Instead we were ushered into a conference room where a dozen high-ranking Navy officers were gathered. The base commander had been summoned from California, along with his top environmental compliance officer, and neither gentleman seemed very happy about it. A half-dozen JAGs (military attorneys from the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps) stared solemnly at us, along with the deputy assistant secretary and her advisors. For a moment, I contemplated screaming and running out of the room.

Good story on the Trampas link.
posted by vacapinta at 1:26 PM on July 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

Ha, I was going to quote that bit as well!

Shrikes are awesome.
posted by rtha at 1:29 PM on July 1, 2014

Glad he and his mate were able to fledge those last nestlings. A good long life -- reminds me a little of Old Blue.
posted by tavella at 1:37 PM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you happen to be fortunate enough to live in the bits of the continent where you might see both loggerhead and Northern shrikes, this looks like a good guide to telling them apart.
posted by rtha at 1:40 PM on July 1, 2014

Studbook 424 will be my new stage name.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:41 PM on July 1, 2014

Trampas went out fighting to save his family, and it looks like he was successful in that. Truly a life well lived.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:42 PM on July 1, 2014

They are cute impalers.

. for little Vladbird.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 1:46 PM on July 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

posted by Melismata at 2:08 PM on July 1, 2014

Both sad to see his passing, and cheered that for every Orange Band and Dusky Seaside Sparrow in the world, we've got loggerhead shrikes and black robins in the world still.
posted by strixus at 3:43 PM on July 1, 2014

Oh man. Thanks for this.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:52 PM on July 1, 2014

Maybe we can focus more on getting people to not pave over every goddamn thing and putting sprawly housing developments on meadows, fields, and forests. And please find out if your local housing authorities and parks departments use anti-coagulant rat poisons, which get into predators (like birds) when they eat sick rats, and get them to not use them.
posted by rtha at 5:40 PM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm feeling all weepy over this little bird now.

Thank you for posting this.
posted by Lexica at 5:46 PM on July 4, 2014

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