Friday, October 2, 2009

Sharp-shinned Hawk mobbed by crows

I took my dogs for a walk on the West River trail behind the Marina this afternoon and found several hundred Canada Geese on various parts of the water. They were resting, sleeping and preening. with hardly a sound. They must have arrived here since yesterday - it's a popular stop-over or staging spot on the migration route.

There were no geese but many crows feeding on the corn left on the harvested field. Crows were also flocking in the big trees around the field. Suddenly I spotted what I thought were two crows breaking out of a tree and flying erratically across the field. They were just dark shapes against the grey sky. I then realized that one bird was much smaller than the other and actually looked like a small raptor, perhaps a Merlin. Soon other crows joined in, taking part in the mobbing. I managed to get several lousy photos except for one that helped in the identification:

It wasn't a Merlin, but a Sharp-shinned Hawk to judge by the size. If closer in size to a crow it could have been a Cooper's Hawk. After a while I saw it flying off by itself. Apparently the crows had chased it far enough and no longer considered it a threat.


  1. Awesome, awesome shot and does a fantastic job showing of the size differences between a Sharp-shinned Hawk and a Crow.

  2. Thanks, Kim. Sheer luck that I could get them into the same frame.

  3. Yepp, hatch-year sharpie!
    Niiiiice shot.


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