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Old Dec 05, 2012, 05:55 PM
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Zurich
Joined Apr 2006
3,989 Posts
plucky bird story

I used to live in Middle Tennessee which is a raptor flyway: lots of thermals and nice things for them to eat! One male Redtail took a fancy to my red-tailed Hobie Hawk and when he'd see my car would fly out from his hill and circle overhead till his friend came out of the trunk, got assembled and came up to join him. This happened throughout an entire season, and we showed off and amiably played together for several hours total accumulated thermal time. Then in the fall someone asked me to test his new sailplane which also happened to have a red tail. As I cored out in a thermal, the bird shot out to the plane, seemed to strike it and something fell down. The startled owner ran off after the slowly tumbling object, shouting that the hawk had knocked off the plane's canopy. Several minutes later he returned, not with the canopy, but with a heavy elliptical leaf with a perfect talon hole where my feathered friend had plucked the leaf (it came from trees only growing on the hill where the bird stayed) and gallantly/playfully presented it to the glider that was obviously too stupid and inept to catch it! There were many witnesses. My falconry and Wildlife expert contacts told me they knew of eagles playing "catch a fly is up" with sticks and a hole in the ice as target, but the easy to catch tumbling leaf trick could be common for these hawks, just never noticed, since NO hawk could miss such a target....and they played their game HIGH up.

I noted that if this had happened in Biblical times it would have been considered a "sign". As it was, months later when I was in Aspen renting a place from an electrician, one of his customers called and left a message, saying for him to call Annie Denver. For some days previous I'd been thinking about John's cute "OH, God!" film, got the dumb idea that I had a message for John (re: world peace instead of his selfishness [you know, hawks, war, that kind of thing]) of which I'd been informed by members of his band who happened to be my friends and who also told me that he was extremely reclusive and kept his phone number very secret. After failing to find the number in the thin Aspen phone book, going through it twice, I semi-nervously called it and was amazed that John said he had actually been expecting that message. He said that he was only surprised that it came from someone so far removed from him [of course I didn't mention my musician friends, whom he might have thought had somehow led me to his number]. I passed by his "downtown" Aspen office the next day for a "Hi, Bye".


Back to the fall. The sailplane and the redtail continued upwards and were joined by more redtails. Jump to the spring. A friend had just returned from a John Denver concert in Atlanta and I asked him if it was any good. He said it was, but that the funny thing was that at the end of the concert John talked about world peace for 45 min. I asked how that went over and was told the audience liked it even better than the concert!

True story (many witnesses). Don't know what happened to the hawks or plane afterwards (the flight ended nicely), but the leaf is somewhere.


Lee
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 06:02 PM
AMA 994002
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United States, RI, Westerly
Joined May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoiseBox View Post
This. The wing shape will tell you its an osprey. Amazing birds, but they prey on fish, not birds- kinda narrows down the reasons for the attack. You didn't have floats on the jet, did you?
There's a possibility it could have been seeking out a mate, and they'll do all kinds of aerobatics with each other, same as Red Tailed Hawks, pretty kool to watch actually, or the pilot could have flown by it's nest, they're usually on utility poles, and things like that, and if you get within 50 to 100 feet from their nest whether on the ground or in the sky, they'll attack you, speaking from experience. It could have seen the EDF as a threat to it's chicks maybe?
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 06:58 PM
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United States, TX
Joined Jul 2010
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I hate when this happens. when i was living in MO my champ was attacked by a barn owl several times. It only ever happened at dusk. i learned not to fly at dusk in that spot anymore. Luckily i never had any major damage. those claws would have crushed my tiny champ!
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 08:22 PM
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Joined Nov 2012
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Size doesn't matter

Eagle Strike (0 min 14 sec)
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 08:33 PM
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Phoenix, AZ
Joined Nov 2006
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Angry Female Redtail Hawk

I have first hand and intimate experience with very angry female Redtail Hawk that was protecting her fledglings. My Voyager IIB payed the price with the covering on the right tip fence and rudder being shredded shortly after this picture was taken. She left me alone after I climbed 500 ft. I was mostly worried she was going to hurt herself by getting tangled in the bracing wires. She did get tangled but not hurt before going after the right wing tip. My friend got the picture cuz he wanted to document what was happening, he didn't think anyone would believe us....LOL
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 09:50 PM
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Whenever a magpie tries to attack my birds (and you can't get away from magpies in Sydney) I just punch the throttle and go straight up. Birds can dive pretty fast and are pretty agile, but as far as going upwards is concerned they cant really compete with more that 500W of throttle

They generally give up pretty quickly, especially vs the skyfun and I start doing loops.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 09:55 PM
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USA, MO, Ozark
Joined Nov 2006
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Loops seem to work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grantham Kid View Post
Had an eagle bump my tail once and send the glider spiralling but generally they like to thermal alongside. I have had aggressive birds but a quick loop seems to confuse them.
hawks get a little teritorial in spring during mating /nesting time
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 12:45 AM
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must the color purple
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 01:53 AM
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United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2002
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I have been chased by a hawk before flying a GWS Slowstick up high. I saw him circle a few times and I cut throttle and started turning away from him when he dove in for attack or look I just nosed down and kept trying to turn away from him after about 20 sec he flew away it seemed like 5 minutes. I have had friend lose stuff form attacks but have been lucky myself.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 01:54 AM
Wait...what?
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Canada, BC, Abbotsford
Joined Sep 2010
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Interesting topic and lots of good stories here, I've had my share of encounters with hawks and eagles as well.

However.... I am a big meanie and have to point out that the picture the OP posted is a fake and not a very good one at that.... sorry
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 02:22 AM
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I'm worried about crows. They get pissed with any flying thing in the area while they stand around and chat. They will clear out, but there are a few that stick around and watch from behind the flight line somewhat close for some minutes. I hope they don't figure out that I should be the target of there ire someday.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 04:20 AM
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Zurich
Joined Apr 2006
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I ran into a very large man who had been riding a horse on a path in the mountains above Salt Lake City. Apparently a Redtail was nesting there .... and this ~1kg/2lb birdie knocked him off his horse. He said he'd had talon marks on his forehead. Very sore [physically & mentally], he informed the Wildlife people, expecting them to remove the nest.

Instead they put up a largish sign saying something like "Caution: Hawk Nest, Do Not Disturb."


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Old Dec 06, 2012, 10:21 AM
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A club member in our area once had his plane (Sweet Stik .40) attacked by a red-tail hawk. The hawk reportedly attacked from above and sank his talons into the wing, crushing the spar and subspar! The plane came winding down out of the air with the hawk still hanging on all the way to the ground. When the pilot and friend reached the the crash site, the hawk was still firmly mounted to the top of the wing, with his wings up in the air and looking from side to side for any signs of life. He refused to give up his prey for nearly 30 min., after the resulting crash before finally deciding it wouldn't make a good meal to take home to the kids and flew away, releasing the carnage for the pilot to reclaim.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 12:02 PM
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Chicago, IL
Joined Dec 2006
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I have a pair of red-tail hawks that live in the park in my neighborhood. They try to attack my foamie 35" Pitts biplane all the time. Their strategy to get onto my 6-o'clock high position, then dive. As soon as they start their dive, I roll and dive too, to build up my speed. Then I do a loop or large barrel-roll.. they can't fly inverted

So far they have never caught one of my planes. I don't try to antagonize them, but they are territorial -- I think it's a game for them.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 12:36 PM
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United States, AZ, Surprise
Joined Jul 2011
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Hawk intercept last week!

Was park flying my blade SR when outa nowhere here comes Mr. Hawk. There was an amateur photog snapping some pics and he caught this one! No attack but a strafing run!
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