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Old Jul 14, 2004, 06:50 PM
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Mr.RC-CAM's Avatar
USA
Joined Oct 2001
5,200 Posts
Neighborhood birds killing birds?

My wife and I kind of thought we had seen everything that a urban neighborhood could offer. Until we saw a bird kill another bird. Frankly, it was an unexpected experience for us.

Here is what we saw: During an evening walk this week we hear two really distressed birds screaming as they flew right over our heads. They were about the size of sparrows (sorry, but I am a birdbrain when it comes to bird names). Directly behind these two fellows was a slightly larger bird that kind of looked like a small Falcon (it probably wasn't a Falcon; I am not sure what it was).

They were all flying at a very high mach-like speed. They passed about six feet over our heads and one of the two chased birds split off as they all were about to collide into the gable of my neighbor's house. The remaining little bird, and the larger one, hit the side of the house at nearly full force. There was blood splattered across the siding.

Without losing a beat, the bigger bird takes off with the little fellow clutched in his feet. After the short flight to the neighboring house's ridge cap, the larger bird stood proudly for a few moments. Then the bird started to roll the little guy like a fine cigar. Did this several times. The little fellow was silent at this point. After a minute, the larger bird flew off with his/her feathered meal.

Is this a regular way that birds get their meals? Or was there more to the story? Perhaps revenge for eating the wrong worm?

RC-CAM
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 06:58 PM
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Palmdale, CA
Joined Oct 2000
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"Nature, red in tooth and claw."
Predators eat prey.
I've heard a "whump!!!!" and seen an explosion of feathers when a hawk smacked into a pigeon choosing one out of a flock.
And in the spring, it's common to see fairly large snakes dangling underneath hawks, on their way to provide dinner to the junior hawks.
And my cat ate the Easter Bunny, on Easter morning a few years back! Euuuuu!!!
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 07:17 PM
Almost a Pilot
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NorCal
Joined Oct 2001
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I've seen similar situations when one bird has gotten into the nest of another.
I've also watched some real angry birds chasing a cat, after they had killed a baby bird........
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 07:24 PM
DLD
David Layne
Tracy, Ca
Joined Jun 2004
665 Posts
Welcome to the "REAL WORLD"! Hawks and Falcons both hunt and kill other birds for food. The bird you saw may have been whaat is commonly known as a Sparrow Hawk. It's a little gruesome to watch, but fascinating.

David Layne
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 07:55 PM
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North Hills
Joined Nov 1999
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I don't think that flying your prey into the side of a house is common practice, but they definitely do kill each other. Just the other day, a crow had a small bird (I'd guess a chickadee) pinned on the ground, and was going in for the kill. Luckily, a whole flock of chickadees drove the crow a way and the little victim was able to stagger away.

Squirrels are little killers too!
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 08:00 PM
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USA
Joined Oct 2001
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What is so surprising is that we had never seen a bird kill another bird in our little suburban neighborhood. Just the usual "get away from my nest" sort of chase is as nasty as we had ever seen. Until this feathered Big Mac attack.

I guess I should stick to the Discovery channel. At least I can click to another channel when the tough get rough!

RC-CAM
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 09:09 PM
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Helena, MT
Joined Feb 2003
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From your description of the birdís appearance, size, and behavior, probably the pursuer was an American Kestrel - they are only about 9-12" as adults - this is DLD's "Sparrow Hawk". The method of kill is likely not common as it was probably just chance - the kestrel would normally snatch the smaller bird in flight - but since the prey bird miscalculated and "augured" into the house - the kestrel got lucky and brought home a meal without having to chase the smaller bird any further.
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 09:11 PM
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Palmdale, CA
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I watched one of those "Chip & Dale" chipmunks escape from a raven.. at a busy traffic intersection. The raven was chasing the cute li'l thing all over the place, but some traffic distracted it enough for Chip to make it to safety.
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 10:05 PM
RIP Ric
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Marietta, GA
Joined Jun 1999
43,312 Posts
I like to watch out resident hawks take out the odd snake or squirrel from our back yard.. it bugs me how they retreat when confronted by crows, however..
..a
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 10:26 PM
Lagopus lagopus
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Houston Hobby, Texas, United States
Joined Jul 2003
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Shrikes are really brutal. They like to impale their prey on sharp objects, like frogs, insects, and even other birds. I dream a day when ptarmigans start attacking and killing gyrfalcons, goshawks, foxes, lynxes, rats, rabbits, and hares.
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Old Jul 15, 2004, 04:00 PM
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Island of Margaritaville.No parallels of latitude or longitude mark the spot exactly. Passports are not required
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillowPtarmigan
Shrikes are really brutal. They like to impale their prey on sharp objects, like frogs, insects, and even other birds. I dream a day when ptarmigans start attacking and killing gyrfalcons, goshawks, foxes, lynxes, rats, rabbits, and hares.
Especially rabbits, can't stand those varmints!
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Old Jul 16, 2004, 01:06 AM
sensitive artsy type
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Tucker, Georgia, United States
Joined Feb 2004
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Pesky wabbit!
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