Red tails, Red breasts, and a Nervous NOMO

As a follow-up to the Spring? posting of February 25th regarding the questions on the Red-tailed Hawks:

A few hours after posting the above, I was out in Catch the Wind and observed a pair of Red-tailed Hawks performing their aerial courtship flight. I didn’t get the whole sequence of events on film (digital), and the birds were way up there requiring a bit of enlargement, but hopefully you’ll get the gist of what the birds are doing.

One bird (on right) comes in from above the other bird, which is slowly gliding into the wind
The upper bird lowers its talons and drops in closer.
It’s just about at this point where the lower bird inverts itself with talons raised, the two locking talons and tumbling through the air.

The next image should show the birds tumbling through the air, but unfortunately the birds went behind a group of tall pines and we’ll have to wait till next time for that one. Sorry.

Later the same day, down on the ground, a group of some fifty American Robins were feasting on worms and other invertebrates.

Some of the robins that have stopped in to rest and feed on their journeys north.
A closer view of one of these very familiar, handsome thrushes.

Although our avian visitors were eating invertebrates at the time, American Robins relish berries and other small fruit. Northern Mockingbirds (NOMOs), who also like fruit, and who stake out and protect winter territories where their food source is plentiful, get rather anxious when a group of fruit eating birds settles in nearby.

This Northern Mockingbird appears a bit bothered by all of the robins that decided to stop and feed in its territory next to the Ornithopter.

See you outside!

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