Sunday, November 15, 2015

Raven Harassing a Bald Eagle

Ravens commonly pester raptors. This Raven took offense to the presence of a third-year Bald Eagle and hounded him out of the area. 

The white line above the eye and the yellow color to the proximal portion of the beak are the tell-tale signs that this bird is a third year. Next year the head will be all white. 

When more than one smaller bird is involved the behavior is referred to as "mobbing." 

Mobbing is clearly a defensive strategy to minimize the perceived threat of a predator. 

Why don't the eagles fight back? My best guess is that the raptors are loath to risk even minor injury in an airborne skirmish with another bird, however small. Survival includes the need to stay fit and healthy. 

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