Morning Sky Show: Hawk vs. Crows

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I’ve read that in other parts of the country, West Nile virus has had a devastating impact on crows, with 90 percent of the population dying in some places. In the small piece of California I see regularly, it’s a different story. The crow population seems not only healthy, but ascendant, with crows for now crowding out songbirds and less aggressive species. It’s not at all uncommon to see crows, usually in pairs or small groups, take on hawks–red-tailed hawks in particular, which are one of the most common raptors in this part of California. On our way out the door this morning to walk The Dog, five crows were harassing a red-tailed hawk high over the street. This scuffle went on for several minutes, with the hawk circling higher and higher into the sky and the crows keeping up their attack. One by one the crows dropped away until just two were chasing the bigger bird. The hawk finally stopped circling and made a beeline to the southwest. (Click images for larger versions.)

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