Saturday, February 03, 2007

Sociable Predators

This was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen! I've always thought of birds of prey as being very territorial. Red Tail Hawks may share a territory with a mate or a sibling, when they are young, but not with another hawk.

Of course, the Crested Caracara is not categorized as a hawk, they are most often listed almost in a category by themselves. And while they will hunt on occasion, they are actually more often carrion eaters. If you've read my blog before, you will probably know that Caracaras are one of my favorite species of birds. (Followed closely by hawks and falcons of any kind!)

Here is a close-up of the Caracara. While he didn't seem to be concerned with me taking pictures (from quite a distance, I must admit), he didn't make things easier for me either. ;-) These are such unique birds, that I would really like to have a good sharp, up-close picture.

Oh well, one of these days...

Red Tails, on the other hand, are not nearly as comfortable with people stopping to take pictures. As I mentioned the other day, I usually end up with them flying off. I was pretty lucky with this one and got some good shots while it was flying (away, of course!). In both of these shots you can see the definitive "red" tail.

OK, this is what I call a "bird butt" shot -- but considering that is does show off the signature tail feathers, I thought I'd share.

The interesting thing is this bird flew over to a tree where there was a Northern Harrier. The Harrier was not nearly as willing to share her tree as the Caracara had been.

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