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Impaler Shrike

This large bird has brown and gray feathers and a vicious hooked beak.

Impaler Shrike CR 3

Source Pathfinder #97: In Hell's Bright Shadow pg. 82
XP 800
N Large animal
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9


AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 natural, –1 size)
hp 32 (5d8+10)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +3


Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee bite +5 (1d8+4 plus grab)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks impale


Str 16, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 7
Base Atk +3; CMB +7; CMD 20
Feats Dodge, Flyby Attack, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Fly +7, Perception +9


Environment any temperate
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Impale (Ex) When an impaler shrike has a creature at least one size smaller than itself grappled in its beak, it can move the creature to a dangerous location, such as a spike or a broken tree limb. This works like the reposition combat maneuver (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide 322), except the shrike can move an opponent to an occupied square. An impaler shrike still provokes an attack of opportunity using this ability, so it typically pins its victim before attempting this maneuver. As part of this reposition, an impaler shrike can attempt a melee touch attack against an AC of 15 to impale the victim on a nearby spike or similar object. If this attack is successful, the victim takes an amount of piercing damage appropriate for the impaling object’s size (see Improvised Weapons on page 144 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook for more information).


Much like their much smaller cousin, the common shrike, these giant shrikes are fond of impaling their prey before feeding. An impaler shrike catches a creature in its powerful beak, and drags the poor victim to a large thorn, splintered tree branch, or even a building’s spire where it then impales the creature and leaves its victim to die, so it can pick away at the carcass at its leisure. Unlike the smaller common shrike’s regular meals of insects and vermin, these large birds are especially fond of trapping sheep, dogs, and other small mammals for consumption. Though they typically favor smaller mammals, these voracious birds are not above attacking humanoids. A full-grown giant shrike stands nearly 9 feet tall and weighs approximately 125 pounds.