Raven takes Galah (& WT Eagle steals)

Subject: Raven takes Galah (& WT Eagle steals)
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 09:28:19 +1100
I have a fascinating observation that I'm keen to hear whether anyone else
has also recorded.

Whilst in Wyperfeld National Park (north west Victoria) last week we
observed the usual flocks of Galahs wheeling around between the Red Gums at
the Wonga Camp Ground.  During the middle of the day one time, we became
aware that the local pair of Australian Ravens (which had two fledged
begging young) have commenced a concerted and co-ordinated attack on one
Galah within the flock.

The ravens had picked out a specific individual and harried/harassed it
into and out of trees to the point that it was eventually forced to the
ground about 100m away.  The ravens then proceded to visciously peck the
Galah in the head and quickly killed it.  This had barely finshed when a
Wedge-tailed Eagle, which had been sitting hidden in adjacent trees,
suddenly took the opportunity to fly out and grab the dead galah off the
ground in front of the rather 'angry' ravens.  All that remained were the
squawking Galahs and ravens chasing the eagle into the trees.  The next
day, as if to confirm this wasn't an isolated incident, we the observed
another two attempts where the same pair of ravens chased a juvenile Magpie
and then later, another Galah.  This time they were not successful, with
both the young Magpie and Galah managing to find a suitably dense tree to
find refuge in.

Has anyone else observed this predatory behaviour by ravens before?  It is
certainly the first time I had observed it.

Martin O'Brien


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