Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Peregrine rips into prey, Sea-eagle misses out


Lucky to spot young Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) ripping at fleshy catch high in tree at Tyto this morning. Bird, probably female, stayed on open branch even as I pushed through waist-high grasses to obtain clear shot. More nervous of being exposed to any threat from above than below, the Peregrine flew off to devour its meal under greater cover among trees in the middle of the main lagoon.

Earlier in the morning, White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) failed to catch its breakfast after two or three passes over a smaller lagoon. Twice it missed its target near the surface of the lagoon. Twice it perched in paperbarks and stared (maybe glared) at the water. Twice it was followed by a pair of Magpie Larks determined to move the eagle on. And they won the day. Always seems odd that a large bird will surrender to being bullied by much smaller antagonists.

3 comments:

mick said...

Hmm! I have Magpie Larks that have become very aggressive around my house. I duck and weave when they swoop me from behind! Likewise Blue-faced Honeyeaters, Masked Lapwings, and Magpies. Either you don't have aggressive birds up your way - or else you are very much braver person than I am :-)

berowrabackyard said...

Interesting to see your juvenile female. I was lucky enough to watch a peregrine - an adult I think, though not sure of sex - slowly demolish what may have been a galah or a honeyeater - while kayaking on the Hawkesbury last weekend. Amazingly it didn't seem too perturbed by me snapping away below it (amazingly I got some really good pics - up online at https://berowrabackyard.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/death-and-good-fortune-on-cowan-creek/ ) or indeed by the parade of noisy powerboats going past. A confident bird!

However, just before it settled down for a meal it did have a bit of a midair battle with what I am 98% sure was another similar sized peregrine. Having never seen any before in that area it amazes me to imagine there might be multiple pairs, but I guess it can happen! So perhaps the bird was more wary about threats from the air, as you say, than lumbering humans on the round! Thanks for sharing your pics! I'd be interested to hear if you see peregrines often. As I say, I see sea eagles, kites, some ospreys and even the occasional wedgie but this is my first peregrine around here...

Tony Ashton said...

No bravery here. Such a sook I'd never get into a kayak, let alone put my precious camera gear in one!

Peregrines seldom seen up here. Hobby much more likely.