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.