[TN-Bird] Red tail/harrier "batelle royale" at St. Thomas Aquinus Campus!
- From: Dthomp2669@xxxxxxx
- To: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 16:58:29 EST
Hi TN-Birders, What a show! What a show! What a BIG, BIG show! At about 11:45 AM today, as I sat at the reception desk just inside the glass-fronted Emergency Room waiting room at St.Thomas Hospital in the Belle Meade area of West Nashville (Davidson County) where I volunteer each Thursday morning, I looked across the way to see one of the resident red-tailed hawks wheeling in the sky, from whence it then came down to perch in a tree. This is not an unusual sight, as it happens almost every Thursday. Suddenly, an interloper appeared and took a swipe at the red-tail. At first, I thought it might be a second red-tail starting a little territorial and "testosteronial" battle. In a moment, I realized, as the two lifted off into the air together, that the "new" bird was NOT a red-tail. I left the desk and dashed outside where several people had also noticed the two hawks. The hawks latched talons in mid air, separated, and the red-tail soared higher with tail a-fan while the "new" hawk plummeted groundward, then flew right across the St. Thomas Heliopad about 75 feet in front of us at eye level. With the slim gray body, the long black-tipped wings, long tail AND that fantastic white rump, it proved to be a harassing harrier! It flew back around; the red-tail flew down, and they went at it again. About that time, one woman commented, "Them two ain't the same kind of birds." I told her she was right and pointed out the field marks and differences to her and a couple of other people who gathered around to listen. About that time, the birds repeated the performance with the red-tail soaring aloft while the harrier once again sailed right over the heliopad at close range. My "companions" saw the differences as I pointed them out, and there were a couple of "Oooooohs" as he swooped back up in the sky to battle again. These little forays went on for about ten minutes in the area between the hospital and the St. Thomas Aquinas/St. Cecilia School campus next door. I did not see where the red-tail went at the end, but the harrier once again made a fast sail across the heliopad to insure that he'd made a fine imprint upon all our brains then sped on out behind St. Thomas toward Richland Creek, McCabe Golf Course & the campuses of Tennessee Tech & Nashville Tech where there are large expanses of short grass and some taller grass over which a harrier might enjoy hunting. What a sight to see, and it gave several worried people (who were there with family members who were being treated in the Emergency Room) a moment of excitement and a learning experience. When the birds were first spotted, those folks were outside on a lovely day getting some air and using their cell phones to call other family members. Every one of them took a break to watch the show, and a couple of them even thanked me for pointing out the obvious differences in the two species which they'd thought were "some kind of hawks." It all sort of made the day, and when I left duty, a red-tail was perched in a tree between the hospital and the schools where its territory is, once again, intact. The harrier, undoubtedly more practiced in fighting now, will probably go home to his nesting grounds to defend HIS own territory after, maybe, getting in a few more practice rounds as he wends his way along the migration route. Cheers & prayers, Dee Thompson Nashville, TN =================NOTES TO SUBSCRIBER===================== The TN-Bird Net requires you to sign your messages with first and last name, city (town) and state abbreviation. You are also required to list the count in which the birds you report were seen. The actual date of observation should appear in the first paragraph. _____________________________________________________________ To post to this mailing list, simply send email to: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx _____________________________________________________________ To unsubscribe, send email to: tn-bird-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field. ______________________________________________________________ TN-Bird Net is owned by the Tennessee Ornithological Society Neither the society(TOS) nor its moderator(s) endorse the views or opinions expressed by the members of this discussion group. Moderator: Wallace Coffey, Bristol, TN wallace@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx _____________________________________________________________ Visit the Tennessee Ornithological Society web site at http://www.tnbirds.org * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Topographical Maps located at http://topozone.com/find.asp _____________________________________________________________
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