Monday, June 9, 2014

Prairie Life - Mobbing and Mating

You don't have to go very far east of Colorado Springs to see the landscape change dramatically - from mountain foothills with trees, bushes and flowers to wide open prairie with sagebrush and tumbleweed.

This is hawk habitat! On a recent drive near Peyton, CO we saw lots of tumbleweed and lots of hawks. This one is a Swainson's Hawk.

Last time I posted a picture of a Swainson's in flight someone commented that he had pretty armpits. Yes they are, Lisa!

A Loggerhead Shrike is often described as a songbird that acts like a hawk.

This is a pair of Lark Sparrows. We watched them for sometime. The male mounted the female over and over and over again.

Here they are resting between bouts.

Finally she had had enough and flew away.

Pictured is an activity called "mobbing" where a smaller bird goes after a larger bird - usually a predator - to drive it away from its territory, food source or nesting area. The smaller bird is a Northern Mockingbird and the larger bird is a Swainson's Hawk.

The Mockingbird kept pecking the hawk - over and over.

Here he comes again!

It almost looks like they are trying to mate.

We still have at least one pair of Cedar Waxwings that come into the yard to feed. I'm hoping we'll see babies in the future!

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