Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Shielding Lunch"...

This was one of those times where patience and observation eventually paid off. This is an interesting photograph for several reasons. I watched this Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) for hours, but to my surprise, I witnessed this hawk swoop down to the surface of the lake and catch a fish on the wing. You can see the fish between its talons. You'll also notice an approaching crow. The crows are an intelligent species and highly observant -- enough to know that the hawk had caught a fish. As soon as the hawk returned to the perch to eat the catch, the first priority is to shield the catch from any other predators who might try to steal the meal. As you can tell, this hawk is trying to shield the view of the fish by extending its left wing. The hawk was able to get a few bites before the harrassing crow eventually forced the hawk to drop its catch back into the lake, neither getting their fill of fish.

Location: private lake, north-central Arkansas. Feb 7, 2004.
This is not cropped. Photo # L124_0126.
(c) Kelly Shipp Photography.

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