Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Goldie the Red-tail vs the Mob of Crows, Kale the Wonder Green, NYC Kestrels and a Look at a Preening Hummingbird

 The sound of crows calling to each other, from numerous directions, was so loud it penetrated into the house even with the windows closed.    I ran outside.  

Far, far, far to the north, so far to the north in fact I couldn't get a focus from the camera, Goldie the Red-tailed Hawk was flying above a Crow.

Allow me to regress for a moment.  Crows are heavy bodied slow flying birds with a good bit of brains but not particularly sharp beaks or toenails so they use various and sometimes quite clever communal protection strategies. 

Now back to the action.
The Crow heads for the trees

 The Crow disappears into the foliage where, likely, numerous Crows are waiting to mob hawk.  Goldie, also likely, has seen this one before, so doesn't fall for it and heads the other direction.
There is loud cawing behind me and five Crows come blazing, well the Crow version of blazing,  over my head and aim for  Goldie. Goldie has turned and the first Crow appears as well.
Goldie of course has far more speed and maneuverability than the Crows so when she zips towards a Crow, it turns and flaps off while it's cohorts go for Goldie from behind.  At this point two Crows have taken refuge in the  trees.

The hawk does kind of  back flip soar and is now chasing the Crows who were chasing her from the east.

She now has everyone on the run EXCEPT the Crow which is a kind of sentinel who has been watching the action from above. (Up left corner of photo) 

I suspect that Crow would join the fray if one of the others is actually having difficulty with the hawk.

Here comes Goldie!

Now that you have the basic gist, watch for the variations.
And she now has the height advantage and the Crow under her better watch it.

Now there are six Crows in the skirmish.
Now there are seven and if you look carefully low and slightly right of center another smaller bird has joined in.

Goldie evades by going toward the Crows. (One Crow out of frame.)

Crows scatter.  Sentinel Crow out of frame up left.

Goldie is center.

Blogger has had enough of loading pix for some reason this evening so Goldie and the Crows will be continued.  Scroll down for the second half of today's post which was loaded earlier.

No, this isn't a mini palm tree.  

It is Kale the wonder plant!   

A highly flavored curly green which managed to ignore the great Midwestern drought.  The leaf lettuce and spinach withered.  It ignored the insect infestations that took out the Swiss Chard.  The Irish mixed it with mashed potatoes and other cultures found other ways to love this leafy green. 

 It may not be everyone's cup of tea but the nutrition can't be beat and it isn't easy to kill.  

Besides as you harvest periodically from the bottom up, you too, can have "mini-palm trees" in your garden.

 The broccoli buds have burst and the bees are out in force today.

And from New York City...
 Photo courtesy of

It is such a treat to see Kestrels going about their Kestrel business.  According to James O'Brien, this brother and sister team is hunting grasshoppers.   

The population of Kestrels has plummeted in most parts of the country, but they have found a way to live in urban areas thank goodness.

Next up, in case you missed it in the comments section, Karen Anne Kolling of RI, she of the Gonzo Deck, found some photos on the web of a Hummingbird preening in regards to my ponderings on how they preen with a beak like that, on the post-

Contact the New Head of NYC Parks Department, Bomber the Hummingbird, Quicksilver, Pyewacket, and the Spaghetti"

 Here is the link of the male Ruby-throat preening.  Karen Anne suggests you scroll down a few...

Donegal Browne

1 comment:

Sally said...

Who is Goldie? I have not met her before :) Nice shots- I never understand why the RT don't just take out the offenders. I watched- with difficulty as I was also driving-4 crows after an RT the other day. Went on for a long time.