Crows Mobbing a Hawk

Working in the backyard yesterday, I heard crows and looked up to see them diving at the top of a redwood tree across the street. There was a large bird on the treetop. I ran to fetch my camera.

From the hooked beak, it’s a raptor.

A pair of crows took turns buzzing the raptor in the tree.

The raptor is a light juvenile red-tailed hawk.

juvenile red-tailed hawk
juvenile red-tailed hawk

After a few minutes, the hawk took off, and a crow chased after.

the hawk takes off
the hawk takes off
crows chases hawk
crow chases hawk

From wikipedia, “mobbing in animals is an antipredator behavior which occurs when individuals of a certain species mob a predator by cooperatively attacking or harassing it.” And that’s what the crows did.

two crows mobbing hawk
two crows mobbing hawk
crow with outstretched claws
three crows, where one outstretched claws attacks hawk from above
another attack
another attack

Finally, the young hawk flew off. See how the sunlight shining on the hawk’s feathers show off the dark bands. The hawk’s tail feathers will become rufous (a shade of red) as an adult. Long ago, my fifth-grade teacher read us Rufous Redtail, a story of a young red-tailed hawk growing up.

hawk flies off
hawk flies off
juvenile red-tailed hawk
juvenile red-tailed hawk
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Published by

charley280

I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

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