[TN-Bird] Percy Priest Lake Loons and gull-hawk fight

  • From: Frank Fekel <fekel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2019 12:35:48 -0600

J. Percy Priest Lake
Davidson Co., TN
19 Feb 2019

This Tuesday morning I made the tour around J. Percy Priest Lake. At
my first stop of the day at the dam I found a RED-THROATED LOON that
was constantly diving and moving around but was reasonably close.
This might be the same one that was feeding in the dam area for a
couple weeks. At one point while watching the loon I turned around and
saw a RING-BILLED GULL in the middle of the parking lot on the asphalt
that seemed to be fighting. When I looked through my binoculars,
instead of another gull fighting it for food, I found a COOPER'S HAWK,
which had it talons into the gull, ready to make it its food. The
hawk was clearly intent on subduing the gull for breakfast as at
one point a school bus drove through the parking lot very close to
the two birds, and I thought that the hawk might let go and fly off,
but it did not. Eventually the hawk moved the gull onto the grass
and slowly dragged it toward the woods, stopping from time to time
to pull out feathers. I took some photos of the conflict, and by
the time I left, there was no fight left in the gull.

After 3 more stops around the lake with little more to show for my
time, I found a second RED-THROATED LOON at Anderson Rd Rec. Area,
where this species was seen over the weekend.

Frank Fekel
Bellevue, TN
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