Day By Day

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Battle Stations

The other day I took my camera out to snap some pictures of the foliage. As I emerged at the bottom of my driveway I heard the local colony of crows raising a ruckus. Something was stirring them up, so naturally I checked it out.

There they were, lined up on the high branches peering intently toward the west. Must be a hawk up there somewhere, I figured.

Sure enough, as I watched a red tailed hawk circled briefly above the treeline, hunting in the next field down. The crows made a fuss, flapping their wings and cawing to make sure it knew they knew it was there and to warn it away from their turf. Apparently it worked because the hawk never reappeared. A few minutes later the crows settled down, then took wing and flew back to the trees above my place where they usually hang out.

It was a nice display of cooperative behavior in the face of a common threat. Necessary, I suppose, if you choose to live at a chokepoint on the main migration route of the eastern raptors.
One of these days it will be an eagle overhead. A lot of them come through but they seldom stop to hunt. I wonder how the corvid clan will react then.