15 May 2012

Battle of the Raptors

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(photo: Rick Remington)

In Chicago, this winter, a Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) took a go at a Snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus). A local birder named Rick Remington got some great photos and described the action.

North American Birding:

[The owl] would do a somersault just as the Peregrine approached and flash its nasty talons in an attempt to scare off the Falcon. The battle lasted for 5 full minutes before the Falcon headed off in another direction and the Snowy Owl flew down to the rocks by the lake. It was a surprisingly violent and noisy encounter, with both birds shrieking loudly and the owl extending its giant wings to intimidate the smaller falcon. I fully expected this to end badly for the owl based on what I was watching. In spite of the obvious mismatch, the Snowy Owl managed to hold its own and escape unscathed.

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