|To:||Michael Hunter <>|
|Subject:||Sparrowhawks vs YTBCockatoos|
|From:||Judith L-A via Birding-Aus <>|
|Date:||Sun, 23 Jan 2022 15:16:43 +1000|
Michael, I cannot resist exchanging this experience with yours, tho the similarities may be approximate—
Could be a decade ago now (when there were still birds to go looking at here), I was bird-walking carefully in hilly, post-rural, waste-land (~400m, SEQ), when a great disturbance attracted my eye to a ?pine-tree on a near slope. Two white birds were at odds: a single YTBC was hurtling around/thru the branches, while a lone Black-shouldered Kite alternately shied on a branch or floated up & circled back down.
To the human eye this appeared as if the YTBC was toying with/teasing the Kite. The YTBC was shrieking with seeming delight/"laughter", while the Kite looked bemused, & patchily irritated.
Regardless of any human interpretations like this, it's hard to imagine two creatures less alike in their consciousness. The lives & behaviours of raptors (watch the CSU peregrines livecam over each year) are so sharply, unswervingly focused; the parrots & cockatoos, meanwhile, are curious creatures & have been shown to have thriving social lives, as well as much leisure time & activities.
In his very wide-ranging book, "A Most Remarkable Creature – The Hidden Life of the World's Smartest Bird of Prey", Jonathan Meiburg considers the behaviours & phylogeography of the Caracara species – "clever, social birds of prey", early linked phylogenetically to both the Falcons & the Parrots. His discussion about the meteor extinction-event having perhaps been less destructive in the southern hemisphere (than the northern obliteration) leads him to suggest the Caracaras' exceptional natures as another clue to the "Antarctic" origins of both the Falcons & the Parrots, that land having been part of the broader early southern continent, allowing for northerly species dispersal as climate cooled & continents separated – leading to further evolution of Parrots (i.e. Australia) & Falcons (i.e. South America).
...The convergences of behaviour he describes in the Caracaras are indeed illuminating when seeing any raptor–cockatoo interaction, even the non-Falconidaes in our two examples: the amazing meeting of two mutually incomprehensible minds.
On Fri, 21 Jan 2022, 1:53 pm Michael Hunter, <m("gmail.com","michaeljvhunter");" rel="noreferrer noreferrer noreferrer" target="_blank">> wrote:
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