Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chased Away

What sort of raptor is this? A broad-winged hawk, perhaps? The body was rather red, the tail and wings barred with black and white. He was hopping about in the bare trees in the back yard.

There has been massive bird activity in the yard this week. I would assume that the same birds have just become more visible with the leaves off the trees, except that for the first time all year, we have had a rash of bird strikes on the windows. ("Poor bird," says Gabe. I keep thinking of a story I heard of a turkey ending up in someone's living room, along with a lot of bloodied, broken glass.)

The songbirds were absolutely mobbing this poor hawk! Note the innocent-looking robin there in the photo. I have never seen so many species working together to drive off a predator. Chris only managed three quick photos before their efforts at driving off the raptor succeeded.


Diana said...

That is a Red Shouldered Hawk - a very common hawk of backyards and wooded areas. The birds don't like it because it is an opportunist that will take a bird as readily as a rat.

I have noticed that certain windows get bird strikes at certain times of the year. I think part of it has to do with the lighting - reflections of woods look the same as woods. I have found some nearly transparent decals that reflect UV light. The birds see them clearly but we don't. This significantly reduces window strikes at my dangerous windows.

Here endeth the lecture.

Maureen said...

That's a cool picture.

Kris said...

Reminds me of the Marsh Hawk I've posted about on my blog. They are smaller than the other resident hawk (the Red Tailed) and more agile chasing around in trees. They are fascinating to watch.

Karen said...

I am always amazed at the way birds will rally together around a much larger predator and do their best to drive it away. Takes a lot of courage, doesn't it? Great pictures!

Pam J. said...

We have red-shouldered hawks around here (DC area) and they do look like that guy in your tree. Nice shot BTW. A baby hawk, possibly a red-shouldered one, flew into my front window the other day and was stunned long enough for me to get a good look (but unfortunately no picture). I think this is the first time I've seen one so young. Cute!