An eagle among the crows

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by oldcrowcv63, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #1 oldcrowcv63, Jul 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
    Since we don't have an animal thread and this seems a timeless tale, I'll post this here:

    This came via email through a relative, and was apparently originally from a gent who runs a 2,000-acre corn farm up around Barron, WI, not far from Oshkosh. He used to fly F-4Es and F-16s for the Guard and participated in the first Gulf War.

    For me, it's proof that even in aerial combat "There's nothing new under the sun." :lol:


    His story:
    "I went out to plant corn for a bit, to finish a field before tomorrow morning and witnessed The Great Battle. A golden eagle -- big, with about a six-foot wingspan - flew right in front of the tractor. It was being chased by three crows that were continually dive bombing it and pecking at it. The crows do this because the eagles rob their nests when they find them.

    At any rate, the eagle banked hard right in one evasive maneuver, then landed in the field about 100 feet from the tractor. This eagle stood about 3 feet tall. The crows all landed too and took up positions around the eagle at 120 degrees apart, but kept their distance at about 20 feet from the big bird. The eagle would take a couple steps towards one of the crows and they'd hop backwards and forward to keep their distance. Then the reinforcement showed up. I happened to spot the eagle's mate hurtling down out of the sky at what appeared to be approximately Mach 1.5. Just before impact, the eagle on the ground took flight, (obviously a coordinated tactic; probably pre-briefed) and the three crows that were watching the grounded eagle also took flight -- thinking they were going to get in some more pecking on the big bird.

    The first crow being targeted by the diving eagle never stood a snowball's chance in h*ll. There was a mid-air explosion of black feathers, and that crow was done.

    The diving eagle then banked hard left in what had to be a 9G climbing turn, using the energy it had accumulated in the dive, and hit crow #2 less than two seconds later. Another crow dead.
    The grounded eagle, which was now airborne and had an altitude advantage on the remaining crow that was streaking eastward in full burner, made a short dive, then banked hard right when the escaping crow tried to evade the hit. It didn't work - crow #3 bit the dust at about 20 feet AGL. This aerial battle was better than any air show I've been to, including the War Birds show at Oshkosh . The two eagles ripped the crows apart, and ate them on the ground; and, as I got closer and closer working my way across the field, I passed within 20 feet of one of them as it ate its catch. It stopped and looked at me as I went by, and you could see in the look of that bird that it knew who's Boss of the Sky. What a beautiful bird!

    I loved it. Not only did they kill their enemy, they ate them. One of the best Fighter Pilot stories I've seen in a long time.
    " :shock:
     
  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That's so cool!
     
  3. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    I saw something similar (though nowhere near as spectacular.) We have a lot of Red Kites over these hills, who spend most of their time wheeling lazily, looking for carrion; one of my friends found that they whistled, and, if you whistle, they'll answer. One day, I was watching one, when some gulls (can't call then seagulls, since we're 100 miles from the sea) decided to gang up on him/her. For a time the kite would just lazily lift a wing, and turn inside their attacks, but obviously got tired of their antics, and turned into one. There was an explosion of white feathers, followed by the death spiral, and suddenly the sky was clear of gulls, leaving the kite soaring away, just as before.
     
  4. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Terrific account. Birds are very sophisticated in their relationships .... read an account from the Town of Burnt River ... downstream from me about 20 clicks .... a women described watching two crows drown a third crow in the river. A group of crows is called a 'murder' of crows.

    MM
     
  5. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I wonder if the crows were actually glide bombing the eagle rather than dive bombing it? oh sorry that was another thread.
     
  6. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    That's neat Oldcrow.
     
  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Moral of the sory is that they don't call them raptors for nothing. Driving away a raptor from a nest or mate is one thing, but continuing to taunt a raptor is usually not a good idea. Good story.

    Sometimes it isn't a good idea to taunt a bird not usually assoicated with raptors. I once was visiting Alaska and watched a guy on a tugboat continue to try and pick off a seagull on a light pole with a slingshot and small rocks. It was daylight and clear, and the seagull finally had enough and went for him. The guy ducked into the tugboat and I later heard from a friend who lived there that the same seagull went for the same guy every time it saw him for at least a year. He eventually moved to another location to continue work, but I bet he either left the seagulls alone or developed a better aim with his slingshot. You can't use a BB gun or pellet gun from a boat at a dock in the USA, so it's not like he could simply take a shot at it and get away with it.

    My bet is he put the slingshot away and grew a beard.
     
  8. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    Was his surname Hitchcock, by any chance?
     
  9. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    A few years back I was sitting in my study with a cold beer, playing IL2, when there was this terrific rush of wings right outside the window beside me. I looked around just in time to see a flock of finches going in every direction, and on the ground about two meters from me was a black-shouldered kite with the one that didn't get away under its talons. In spite of the name, black-shouldered kites are falcons, and almost pure white with blood red eyes. I looked at the falcon, the falcon looked at me, and then it was gone. Awesome.
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The shop where I work at is still in a rural setting, we have a large field behind the shop and tall pines and firs nearby. It's not uncommon to see quail, eagles and all sorts of wildlife. There has been a mating pair of Redtail Hawks in the area for many years.

    Several years ago, there was a huge commotion out back, so we stepped outside to see what was going on. There was a huge mob of Ravens swarming around the male Redtail Hawk as he was flying along, carrying a Raven chick in his talons. As he fended off the attacking Ravens who numbered well over a dozen, he dropped the chick into the field near our helipad and started climbing upwards, the flock in hot pursuit. We went over to investigate the chick and it was still alive, though in bad shape. A few of the Ravens swooped on us, intent on defending the chick, so we moved back to the shop to watch the Hawk above fending off the furious attackers and to avoid being pecked at or pooped on, by a couple of angry defenders who were watching over the injured chick.

    All of a sudden, from the right, came the female Redtail Hawk. She was coming in low and hot and nailed the Raven chick in her talons with an explosion of black pinfeathers. Keeping low and still travelling at a fairly good clip, she cleared the far fence and climbed up towards a tall pine tree that they've used for nesting, to the west of the field.

    This happened so suddenly, the Ravens were caught off guard and had no time to react. With the female Hawk safely in the tree with the Raven chick, the male Hawk went on the offensive and started attacking the Ravens with a fury, killing several and eventually driving them off.

    It was an amazing sight to see, the co-ordination between the two Hawks using deception and speed to beat the odds against superior numbers.
     
  11. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Total victories claimed: seven.
     
  12. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #12 oldcrowcv63, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
    I interviewed the crows, finches, gulls and ravens in these stories and they say the predator birds inevitably over-count by a factor of about two. They also claim they battled at least 30 predator-birds in each instance and that explains their losses. They finally asserted that at least three predators were definite casualties of their brave counter attacks. :shock: :lol:

    Finally the sea gull claimed the tug boat guy was an as*-ho*e who never shared the crust of his lunch sandwiches he threw into the garbage and deserved every bit of the payback. :rolleyes:
     
  13. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Despite the probable over-claiming, isn't it possible that the claims filed may have been shared claims and if so, would that count as a half for each individal or do they get to have the full credit anyway?

    There's also the report of the Raven chick. It was obviously a "ground" victory, since it wasn't in flight but was still functional after the Male Hawk's attack when the Female Hawk commenced her attack for the "kill". So do they have to share the victory or would the Female Hawk get full credit?
     
  14. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    These are very serious issues that should be weighed carefully. I would think shared claims are quite reseaonanle and that the chick should indeed be a ground victory shared by the two. However, my guess is the female gets the bulk of the shared claims, if the male knows what's in his best self-interest.
     
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