Food Fight

In a post last week I noted that red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) were mantling over some carrion in one of our pastures (Modoc County CA). Since temperatures the last month have been below freezing and there is a hard crust on the snow, the hawks’ usual food sources are compromised. Therefore several red-tailed hawks were fighting over the carrion.

There are at least four red-tailed hawks feeding on the carrion in our pasture – and fighting over the choice morsels. These photographs show hawks fighting at different times for some nourishment. Two hawks would scuffle with one eventually moving off in defeat. Note in one photograph that a red-tail has his opponent’s leg in his talons. It was so dramatic to observe!!

The carrion is now gone. I do hope the red-tails can find some other food source until the snow melts and their usual prey begin to move about again.

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6 Responses to Food Fight

  1. Fantastic photos! I love this! It’s so cool that you captured this confrontation.

    • gingkochris says:

      I have been watching road kills a little more closely during this unusual cold spell of ours and am surprised at the non-typical behaviors I am seeing. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

  2. Rockie says:

    I love these pictures. It is so fascinating to live where we do. We get to see nature up close and personal. Thank you Chris

  3. Mike Powell says:

    Wow, those are some amazing shots. In the past, I never really thought much about how birds and animals make it through the winter, but, as your photos make clear, it’s a fight for survival and the creatures will take extreme action to safeguard their meager supplies of food.

    • gingkochris says:

      This has been an extreme winter for our fauna – avian and otherwise. I am more aware of the “fight for survival” this year than I have been in the past. The drama is playing out before my eyes.

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