Friday, June 27, 2014

Fish Crow Predation on Barn Swallow Chicks, a Photoessay by Damon Orsetti

While migration is long over (fall migration is right around the corner though!) we can still see interesting things while birding. Sure, there are those that get more interested in breeding bird stuff this time of year, but the best things we see are often those we don't expect.

When I was at John Heinz NWR the other day I was lucky enough to find something I was not expecting (see my eBird for that trip checklist here). You see, on the boardwalk there they have lots of Barn Swallows nesting underneath and apparently a Fish Crow found out about the delicious and tender, yet crunchy, morsels that are Barn Swallow chicks.

I first noticed this when a huge (probably at least a hundred) swarm of birds was absolutely freaking out on the boardwalk. They were mostly Barn and Tree Swallows, with a couple Baltimore Orioles and a single Eastern Kingbird and Red-winged Blackbird. And they were pissed.

Note: I have no idea who Random Guy is

In the end, obviously, the Fish Crow got its meal and, despite the loud protestations by the other birds, it seems pretty much unperturbed and only slightly annoyed. It flew off soon afterwards.

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