Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Territorial dispute

While out working in the yard, I saw hawks circling above my yard and the retention basin*, wafting on the air currents.  There were at least 5 of them.

Three dropped down behind the wall.  I hurried over to the east steps to see.  My view of the landing area was blocked, but one large bird was sitting on the ground in plain view. That’s when I realized it wasn’t one of the Harris hawks that nest behind me.  It was a turkey vulture.

I went to get the binoculars and got a close-up of the turkey vulture tearing apart a rabbit.  A hawk watched from a dead tree.  The sitting hawk screeched and launched itself at the turkey vulture.  The vulture flew away.  

But didn’t stay away. It landed again and started picking at the rabbit.  The hawk attacked again.  This happened twice more before they landed where I couldn’t see. 

A little later, the hawk landed on my block wall, looked right at me, and shrieked. I can only assume it was complaining about the interlopers.

*a retention basin is a large depression of dirt or concrete designed to hold the run-off from fast, hard monsoon rains. 

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