Monday, May 4, 2009

An aerial ballet

This is one for the ornithologists aboard, if any. These three put on quite a display the other day, directly over my place. I had a camera, but only a 200mm lens. After I took a few frames my curiosity got the better of me and I went inside for a pair of field glasses. By the time I got back they were gone.

They were diving and swooping at each other and seemed to be making contact at times. At first I thought it was a mating competition, but when I looked at the enlarged image it looked more like two Swainson's hawks attacking a young golden eagle. I'm not a bird authority by any means, so if anyone can correct me, feel free. (Click on pic to enlarge it.)

Edit: Correction. That's a Redtail they're beating up on. I just took another look at the pic enlarged. No doubt in my mind. Two Swainsons ganging up on a Redtail.


Anonymous said...

Here it's crows going after hawks. I've seen some good set to's up over the trees.

Miz Minka said...

Here it's various smaller song birds going after crows and hawks! I almost feel sorry for them because they rarely get a moment's rest from the overprotective breeding birds. Makes for a good show though! :)

I wish I knew what you had flying there, Rio. I thought one of them might be a Red Tailed Hawk -- do you have those in your neck of the woods?

Rio Arriba said...

MM, I seldom see crows and ravens out here. But we beaucoups de hawks and iggles.

Yes, many redtails. They are everywhere. Even though the pic doesn't show it very well, that lead bird was way bigger than the other tow. That's why I kind think he was a golden. B/c of the wing shapes and the coloration I am almost certain that the other two were Swainsons.

Anyone that believes the federal F&WS baloney about raptors being endangered should come out here for a while. I assure you, they ain't.