May 25 2014

Little Against Big

Published by at 5:30 am under Bird Behavior,Birds of Prey

During the nesting season small songbirds chase large predators away from their eggs and young.  It’s a topsy-turvy time when the pecking order is reversed.

Sharon Leadbitter saw this in action last week at Allegheny Cemetery when a blue jay repeatedly bopped a red-tailed hawk on the head, trying to drive it away from his territory.

Eventually the blue jay was just too annoying ….

(video by Sharon Leadbitter)

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Little Against Big”

  1. Allyon 25 May 2014 at 11:25 am

    Aww I feel bad for Mama Redtail! Those bluejays are such a pain in the tail feathers.

  2. Anne Marieon 25 May 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I witnessed a similar event in my backyard last week. 4 robins, 2 crows and a bunch of starlings ganged up on a Coopers Hawk looking for breakfast. The crows and robins were the muscle and the starlings hung out in the tree sounding the alarms. The coopers got tired of it too and left. Hooray for Teamwork! I just hope he found breakfast somewhere else!

  3. Anne Marieon 25 May 2014 at 1:43 pm

    of course, last summer I saw a crow raiding a robin’s nest :-( with the crow ignoring the attacking robin.

  4. Kate St. Johnon 25 May 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Anne Marie, I saw a crow attack once too. Had to quit watching. Sad.

  5. Maryon 23 Jul 2014 at 7:02 am

    Ironic to say the least concerning the Red Tail being attacked by the Blue Jay, who was likely defending his nest. Four weeks ago a large Blue Jay perched for a few seconds over my bird feeder. He was approx 10 feet above and decided to fly off, but accidentally dropped a baby Blue Jay, which was clutched in his claws/talons. No doubt this baby was on the lunch menu, but landed on my driveway instead. I assumed the nestling Jay was dead b/c it wasn’t moving, but as I attempted to pick it up to dispose of this poor, little baby, he started to carry on like no body’s business. The nestling appeared to be approx 15 days old, so I placed it under a bush hoping one of his parents would hear his cries and come to his aid. I watched over him at a distance and listened to his cries for help for over 5 hours. Now what?? I had no idea where his nest and parents were located since he was stolen, but b/c he was so vulnerable at dusk, I had no choice but to take him in as a foster mom.

    After hand feeding him for nearly 4 weeks and using my 2 Ficus trees for flying lessons, I’m happy to say “Jay Bird” successfully fledged last week. I placed him on a low branch of one of my Rhododendron’s, as I watched him hop from branch to branch. He remained nearby for 3 or 4 days as I wished him a good life.

    Ironic b/c the adult Blue Jay was protecting his nest from a Red Tailed Hawk and yet snatched a baby Jay from another Jay’s nest. It’s a dog eat dog world flying around out there! <3

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