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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

On the Subject of Birds

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Texasmark1

02-19-2013 04:42:42




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While I was out tending my tractors (keeping it legal, grin) I noticed a strange occurrence.

Next door is a fairly young densely wooded area that crows and in the winter Cooper's Hawks frequent.

Yesterday I saw a couple of crows, in flight, chasing a hawk away from the area. One crow was persistent and would not give up. At one point the crow flew up alongside and slightly below the hawk and as best I could tell, jabbed at the under side of the neck of the hawk with it's beak.

Immediately after that the crow backed off, the hawk quit flying, was just gliding and slowly loosing altitude. Within a hundred yards it just nose dived into the ground. I watched for a time and didn't see the hawk get up.

Any idea as to what the crow did to the hawk? I like those hawks, especially in the spring and early summer when I mow and make windrows and they hover about 50 feet above you, waiting for you to flush out a field mouse. Watching them after the initial kill with their proud posture is nice.

One time I saw a rat run into a ww and he did too. He swooped down and the rat had moved. He kicked the grass around for a bit and moved up the row and the next thing you know he had it.

Thanks,
Mark

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Noah W

02-19-2013 10:35:46




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to Texasmark1, 02-19-2013 04:42:42  
They found about 200 dead crows in an area near me, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu.

A Bird Pathologist was called in to examine the remains of all the crows, and he confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu, to everyone's relief.

However, he did determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, and only 2% were killed by car impact.

The State then hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine the disproportionate percentages for truck versus car kill.

The Ornithological Behaviourist determined the cause in short order.

When crows eat road kill, they always set-up a look-out Crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger.



His conclusion was that the lookout crow could say "Cah", but he could not say "Truck."

Noah W

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Texasmark1

02-20-2013 17:38:40




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to Noah W, 02-19-2013 10:35:46  
Now that was funny. One attaboy for you.

But the pair of hawks are no longer a pair and the lone remainder, $ex unknown is out there alone. I know Doves mate for a lifetime. Don't know if hawks do too.

If this was a buzzard, I'd have said hot dog. But hawks don't hurt anyone and I think they are majestic specimens.

Mark



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Nancy Howell

02-19-2013 13:23:41




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to Noah W, 02-19-2013 10:35:46  
lol



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Old Roy

02-19-2013 09:17:27




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to Texasmark1, 02-19-2013 04:42:42  
Hawks will eat the young of crows..when one calls the alarm then the rest in the area come to their aid.. If a hawk lands safely in a tree mostly the crows will give up is they feel hawk is a safe distance away from their nesting place. I do like to watch the aerobatics. same for crow Vs starlings.Just part of the food chain...



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Rick Kr

02-19-2013 08:44:36




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to Texasmark1, 02-19-2013 04:42:42  
I have a couple of Coopers Hawks that have moved into my place, plus Red tail hawks and an owl that are already there.

I like the predators, between them and my dogs, they are rodent control for my trees. Any time a crow or anything else is messing with the hawks, I come to their aid with the shotgun.

I am able to get with 30 feet of the hawk or owl when they are eating a rabbit. When turning dirt mounds or heavy field grass, the cooper hawks will come within 2 foot of the tractor or dozer to get the field mice. Its really neat to watch.

Rick

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Nancy Howell

02-19-2013 06:32:08




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to Texasmark1, 02-19-2013 04:42:42  
James told me one day he saw some crows pestering a red tailed hawk. Hawk finally got enough and did a roll in the air and nearly nailed one of the crows.

Crows quickly departed.



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JMS/.MN

02-19-2013 08:55:00




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to Nancy Howell, 02-19-2013 06:32:08  
So how come when its done with jet fighters it"s called a "dogfight"? Instead of a "crowfight".



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ss55

02-19-2013 06:31:36




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to Texasmark1, 02-19-2013 04:42:42  
More often I see a number of smaller black birds mobbing around a single crow to chase it away. I don't remember if the smaller birds are starlings or red wing black birds. It happens most during nesting season.



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John Fulton

02-19-2013 05:52:15




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to Texasmark1, 02-19-2013 04:42:42  
What you experienced is called "mobbing" of crows to raptors. Crows especially hate raptors since they steal eggs and chicks from their nests. Kind of ironic, though, since crows themselves are notorious nest predators. "What goes around comes around".



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Mike (WA)

02-19-2013 07:53:13




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to John Fulton, 02-19-2013 05:52:15  
I've seen crows harassing a hawk, and at the same time, starlings or some other smaller birds are harassing the crows.

Kind of reminds me of this board, sometimes!



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dr sportster

02-19-2013 05:46:59




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to Texasmark1, 02-19-2013 04:42:42  
In NJ the crows work agianst the hawks in large numbers. Many hawks are injured by crows. If I hear a big racket of crows I know they are harassing a hawk.If people would stop using poison for rodents alot of owls would not die.Yeah,I'm a bird lover.



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da.bees

02-19-2013 10:08:09




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 Re: On the Subject of Birds in reply to dr sportster, 02-19-2013 05:46:59  
To see owl balls containing rat skulls acumilate around a owl's roost is testament to thier rodent control. I figure the few chickens lost to raptors over the years were more than offset by rodents taken by the raptors. Well there "might have been" a couple of s s & s incidents when things got out of hand. Snakes also get some undeserved head bashings. The best example of snake's value I have witnessed was in some stored hay. We stored peanut hay in an old barn then moved the cows from the adjoining pasture. 18 months later we needed the old barn for other storage. We carried grain scoops and seed forks expecting to find nothing but baling wire and rat turds to clear out. It turned out the hay was only lightly damaged thanks to a couple of snakes residing in the stack.

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