May 23 2013
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s wetland restoration at Schenley pond has gone so well that a red-winged blackbird has decided to nest there.
Though I haven’t seen his mate there must be a nest because he defends the area from all potential threats. Yesterday morning I was pleased to see a second vote for the wetland when he had to chase off the competition — another male red-winged blackbird.
Shortly thereafter one of the resident red-tailed hawks flew in to perch on a dead snag. Mr. Red-wing was on him right away!
Though I didn’t record this video, it shows exactly what happened. The blackbird perched above the hawk, shouting and flashing his red epaulettes. He repeatedly dive-bombed the hawk and pecked its back.
At first I thought the red-tail would ignore the red-wing but he could not be ignored. The hawk whined and flew to shelter under the roadbed of the Panther Hollow Bridge.
Persistence pays off. In the match-up between Red Wing and Red Tail the blackbird wins.
(video on YouTube from Illinois’ Lake County Forest Preserve District)
p.s. The red-tailed hawk in this video is a juvenile so he whines a lot more than the adult at Schenley Park yesterday.