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Red-tailed Hawk being harassed by Red-winged Blackbird | by Roger Kirchen
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Red-tailed Hawk being harassed by Red-winged Blackbird

I was taking photos of hawks, when I noticed that this Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) was being harassed by a male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus).


The RWB made four passes at the RTH and on the second pass managed to land, it appears, on the RTH's back. The tail of the RTH then becomes slightly more angled downward (last photo) either because of a defensive action or because of the additional loading.


There is a small white patch on the throat but a fair amount of dark on the chest. I considered Swainson's Hawk, but settled on Red-tailed Hawk. Many thanks to Buckeye in the Bird Identification Group for confirming the ID and providing an excellent field mark (that somehow is not pointed out in my references).


These captures are more than a week old; I only got to process them now. Photographed along Range Road 224 south of Sherwood Park.


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Taken on June 26, 2011