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Bird question - Sad? or anyone else

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Amazonia posted 5/13/2013 10:32 AM

The wall behind my desk is a solid window (floor to ceiling, or cabinet to ceiling I guess), overlooking a wooded area. I was just looking outside and there are some crazy birds out there.

There's a bigger one, maybe a small hawk? that is flying in circles and figure eights, and two smaller ones, like sparrow sized? that are dive bombing it! They will fly up higher than the big one, and then tuck their wings in and literally go straight for it, like they're aiming to run into it's body. They get really, really close to hitting it. The big one doesn't seem especially bothered by them, just flaps its wings when they get too close and kind of changes course, at which point they go back up and try again.

What am I watching here? Are they trying to drive it away from a nest or something?

My assumption is that the bigger one is a bird of prey, and the smaller ones are not; I don't know anything about birds though, so that could be wrong.

TrulyReconciled posted 5/13/2013 10:37 AM

Yep - it's called 'mobbing' behavior and it's quite common.

Amazonia posted 5/13/2013 10:37 AM

So weird to watch the little guy pick on the big guy.

TrulyReconciled posted 5/13/2013 10:38 AM

The larger bird is likely a bird of prey ... in your area possibly a redtailed hawk or northern harrier.

Amazonia posted 5/13/2013 10:40 AM

yeah, his wings looked kind of like this shape

Too far away too see colors, just that he looked dark against the trees.

TrulyReconciled posted 5/13/2013 10:42 AM

Here's an unusual one:

Who says birds don't have balls??

[This message edited by TrulyReconciled at 10:43 AM, May 13th (Monday)]

Amazonia posted 5/13/2013 10:44 AM

That's pretty close to the size difference between these guys, but both are smaller - the little ones were definitely not as big as a gull.

It did really look like they were trying to land on his back though.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 5/13/2013 11:38 AM

We have these ugly, awful cowbirds - they hijack other birds nests. They are bullies. Just the other day I saw a robin chasing it away.

Most birds I enjoy - cowbirds rank up there with mosquitoes as having no good use.

Sad in AZ posted 5/13/2013 12:02 PM

Birds are the best! I'm kind of surprised that this is the first time you've seen mobbing behavior; it happens all the time.

And cowbirds Let's just say there's a reason for everything...

Amazonia posted 5/13/2013 12:15 PM

Well I don't usually look out the window too much... my computer has me facing with my back to the window. So bird watching = not working.

TrulyReconciled posted 5/13/2013 12:18 PM

But *they* are watching you ...

nowiknow23 posted 5/13/2013 12:26 PM

In a previous career life, I had a desk right up against a giant second story window wall. There were trees below that had some kind of red berries? And the birds would get high on the fermented berries, see their reflections in the windows, and attack. Birds crashing into the window for about a week each year. And it was All. Day. Long. until the sun finally would move to a point where the reflection was no longer there. One day, we counted 32 bird hits on the window. It was like Hitchcock's "The Birds" in real life.

They finally dug out the trees and replaced them with something less... intoxicating.

TrulyReconciled posted 5/13/2013 13:16 PM

Now *that* sounds like robins.

Sad in AZ posted 5/13/2013 13:35 PM

Part of the fun of working for a birding tour company was when an interesting bird was sighted in our area, we just closed the office and ran off to see it.

It was work-related...

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