Re: A free ride

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Re: A free ride
From: "David Adams" <>
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2007 13:50:56 +1000
On 6/9/07, Myles <> wrote:

What an incredible picture!  Is it possible to be real?

Yes, it's possible...if a bit incredible. Thanks to Tim for posting
the picture. Mobbing is pretty common behavior amongst the birds of
North America. All of the small birds seem to hate Crows and Ravens
and will go after them aggressively. Crows and Ravens themselves go
after bigger birds.  Red-tails are widespread and super abundant in
many areas, so seeing one under attack is not a rarity.

Apart from the birds Tim mentioned, I've seen Mockingbirds (Mimus
polyglottus) stand down just about any bird you can name. I saw a
whole mob of birds after a Red-tailed Hawk one day. The hawk perched
on top of a telephone pole (not a good move) and the Mockingbird kept
flying straight at it throwing out its feet in the hawk's face. The
hawk flew off as soon as it could manage!

Attacks by small birds are quite dangerous. For example, I remember a
report of a Spotted Owl (a threatened owl of the western part of the
continent) being mobbed to death by smaller birds. Here in Australia,
I assume it's much the same. I've spotted Powerful Owl, Boobook, and
Papuan Frogmouth by following 'angry' little birds.

The most consistently aggressive species I've seen anywhere is the
Noisy Miner. For sheer bad attitude, they have to take the prize. I
kept  a list of species they went after for about a year and it was
both long and bizarre. Currawongs I understand, Whipbirds and Crimson
Rossellas I don't.

P.S. Yes, Hummingbirds are absolutely fearless! They're fast and have
have needle-like've been warned ;-)

David Adams
Wallaga Lake 2546 NSW

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