adventures in nature

dark morph red-tailed hawk

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i ran into another old friend on friday … a dark morph (or rufous/intermediate morph) red-tailed hawk that has spent the last few winters in berkeley. it’s fun when i get to know an individual animal, and this one has been around for a few years but i just saw her for the first time this season about a week ago. i was happy to see her again.

when i first saw her we gave each other a little wave (ha!)

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right about the time that i saw her, a huge flock of crows was moving through the area and it didn’t take long for some of them to spot her too. crows love to harass red-tails, and today was no different. first one or two took up the chase, and soon there was a flock of close to 50 crows escorting her out of the area.

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the mob goes wild

the mob goes wild

i’ve mentioned this before, but there are some corvid researchers (i can’t remember who) who say that this mobbing behavior could be a corvid “right of passage” – which makes some sense to me because there is very little reason that i can think of for the birds to do it other than fun or to establish social ranking.

3 responses

  1. lovely.

    March 10, 2014 at 7:47 pm

  2. Reblogged this on West County Hawk Watch Raptor Study Group and commented:
    Here we have Zach Dautrich posting some of his fantastic hawk documentation stuff. Like most avid hawk watchers, you can come to learn certain individuals that migrate to, or through from year to year. Here Zach reflects on a bird he has seen in successive years. Getting to know then migration patterns and identification points you can individualize your experience with the bird. Almost to the point where its personal.

    April 21, 2014 at 7:23 am

  3. We go intermediate or rufous on this guy, dark would be black or chocolate and pretty much one over all color, tyically the rufous or intermediates have more then one color, like your Bird above, the chest or bib is way differ for the other tones of brown

    July 4, 2015 at 12:53 am

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