Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Hawks vs the Crows

So my thought was that I'd start a website and maintain that instead of updating this blog. However, what I've found is that even tho I like the website and want to have for basically static information, I still need an easy way to give updates. Blogger is easier than the website update process. So...I think I'll maintain this blog and link the two together.

On that note...there's no way I can catch up with all the birding events of the past 5 or 6 months. Instead, I'll just start fresh.

Last weekend I went to Hooper Road park in Baton Rouge (a BREC park in Central, which is in north Baton Rouge near the Airport). The park has horse trails! I don't think they're used much, but it was neat to see. Also has bike trails and one labeled walking trail but I really couldn't find that one. The park also has a rec center and a couple of baseball or softball diamonds. I bet they're used, but not at 7am on a Sat. When I emerged from a trail in the woods, I noticed movement near the ball fields. The ball fields are back to back with bleachers that are back to back as well. On one side of the bleachers sat a half dozen crows. On the other bleachers sat two best guess is young Cooper's Hawks. They weren't quite as large as the crows....but they decided they wanted to eat crow! The'd fly over into the mess of crows, who would barely dodge out of the way, occasionally flying up in small circles to avoid the hawks. The hawk would land, sometimes right to the crows, and then try again. If I can anthromorphize a bit, the crows looked either bored or patronizingly amused at the effort of the hawks....and there were no feathers flying! The young hawks caught sight of a fox squirrel, and oh boy they're on it. It managed to elude them first by going to the back side of a telephone pole (where did he go? where did he go?) and when it got back on the ground, it went on teh other side of the chain link fence of the ball field. The hawks flew into and landed on the face of the fence a couple of times trying to figure out how to get to the squirrel. They finally gave up and went back to harrassing the crows. An adult Red-Shouldered Hawk came in at one point to see what was going made a lazy pass at the crows once or twice and then gave up and moved on.

I did take video, but I was some distance away so I'm not sure what you'll be able to tell. I didn't get too close for fear of upsetting the interaction. It was an amusing exchange and certainly made my day!

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