Re: [cayugabirds-l] Why larger predatory birds flee smaller birds

2016-07-18 Thread Margaret Shepard
On June 20, after a long train ride to Chicago, I spent an hour with family in 
Maggie Daley Park, being entertained on the children's playground by my 
grandson and by a thoroughly urban male RW Blackbird. The latter was
unexpected: many hundreds of active kids, no wetland or pond nearby, but lots 
of sprinklers, some shrubbery, plus whale tail and ship mast for perches. The 
RW seemed a serene observer of the chaos, perching, feeding, drinking within a 
few feet of the churning small humans. But every time the small, quiet, 
slow-moving playground custodian made her frequent rounds, the bird mobbed her, 
striking her cap forcefully and scolding. Based on the total lack of response 
from the custodian, I'd guess this was routine behavior; she must have 
threatened a nest at some point. There were plenty of other people in
pale baseball caps, so this was clearly a personal contest.

Margaret Shepard

<> on behalf of Donna Lee Scott 
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2016 2:50 PM
To: Mike Pitzrick; Paul Schmitt
Subject: RE: [cayugabirds-l] Why larger predatory birds flee smaller birds

While arriving at CLO for Wed. evening lecture of Spring Field Ornithology 
class in spring, I attempted to go to the main entrance by walking under the 
overhanging eaves of the building, when a very aggressive gander ran out and 
chased me all the way around to the main stonewall walkway !  Somebody should 
have had a video camera handy to record the ridiculous sight of me running and 
laughing while the goose chased me, honking all the way! Later, I saw a goose 
on a nest near the part of that small marsh that is down towards the delivery 


Lansing Station Road

[] On Behalf Of Mike Pitzrick
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2016 2:01 PM
To: Paul Schmitt <>
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Why larger predatory birds flee smaller birds

A couple of years ago by the Lab of O I saw a Canada Goose repeated land on the 
shoulders of a white-tailed deer and peck the back of the neck and head, 
driving it away from a nearby nest.  I seem to recall that some of the Lab 
staff chose an alternate entrance to the building for a couple of weeks to 
avoid this aggressive gander.


On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 1:49 PM, Paul Schmitt 
<<>> wrote:
This got me to recalling that last summer I saw a RW Blackbird take offense at 
some Canada Geese there were too close to a nest at MNWR.  The male RWB 
attached the gander's back, taking hold and riding him out of the area.  It 
appeared the blackbird knew just where to be clear of the gander's beak.
Paul Schmitt

On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 1:42 PM, Dave K 
<<>> wrote:

On the Eastern end of Eaton Marsh this AM, Kingbirds were defending against an 
Osprey. It's the first time I've seen the Kingbirds red crown which, 
apparently, they use in this situation.
[Image removed by sender.][Image removed by 

[Image removed by sender.][Image removed by 

 on behalf of Dave Nutter <<>>
Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2016 10:31 PM
To: Cayuga Birds
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Why larger predatory birds flee smaller birds

As I drove south on NYS-89 west of Cayuga Lake this afternoon I saw a 
Red-tailed Hawk ahead, flying vigorously alongside the road, apparently having 
just been persuaded by an Eastern Kingbird to vacate a typical perch atop a 
power pole. As they crossed in front of me, the Kingbird closed the gap 
completely and appeared to land and remain between the shoulders of the flying 
hawk. They disappeared, still attached, behind farm buildings before I could 
tell what damage the Kingbird inflicted, but I bet it was pretty uncomfortable. 
Meanwhile second Kingbird had also joined the chase.

--Dave Nutter
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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Ravens on the move...

2016-09-25 Thread Margaret Shepard
The resident ravens around my Lodi farm have been much more vocal lately, but I 
haven't seen any large groups moving through. Two days ago, while harvesting 
rampant tomatillos from my compost pile, I saw a single raven giving chase to a 
leucistic red-tail, with three crows mobbing close behind and two other ravens 
in tumble-play flight. Always good to look up when picking!

-- Margaret Shepard
Sage Hen Farm, Lodi

<> on behalf of Liz Brown 
Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2016 11:01 AM
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Ravens on the move...

Just now, out doing chores at our place in Mecklenburg, I watched  13 ravens 
drift south in a loose kettle. They were vocalizing, and doing some lazy 
acrobatics, but mostly just spiraling southward. We have a resident family 
group--and because we have a bakery on the property, with a delicious compost 
pile, we see a LOT of them--but I've never seen such a big group.

After a few minutes, 4 of them (I'm assuming "our" family) split from the rest 
and returned northward, 2 flying in a tight pair, and 2 following them. As soon 
as they left the group, the remaining 9 veered east, and began flying 
purposefully towards Ithaca.

Any ideas what that was all about?

Liz Brown

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