Turkey vulture robs Coopers Hawk

This morning I saw something I've never seen before. I was walking through the kitchen when I noticed a pair of Cooper’s hawks flying across my yard. One landed in the dead pine tree and the other cruised across to the neighbors (or so I thought). As I watching the Coop in the dead pine and thinking how the Mockingbird babies’ heart must be racing, I saw a Turkey Vulture swoop DIRECTLY at the Coop. The Coop was forced to fly off to avoid a direct hit. That’s weird, Vultures normally leave raptors alone I thought. While these thoughts were going through my head I saw the Turkey Vulture heading the opposite direction across the lawn holding a bird in its talons. AHA, I just witnessed a shake down!!
I tried to get a shot of the Coops, but they were pretty nervous having had a lot of attention from the neighborhood watch (Crows, Jays, Vultures et al). This summer the Coops have been nesting somewhere across the road in a neighbors' yard. I've heard and seen them a LOT which is awesome. Hopefully their nesting attempts have been successful.


chilibean said...

Holy Cow. I checked out the Coop and the Turk V on Cornell's All About Birds. Yikes! The Turk makes an awfully creepy hiss. I've seen vultures around here but don't know what kind they are. I don't remember seeing them out here until just recently. Gotta treat myself to some better binocs!

dAwN said...

Wow..interesting encounter. Had no idea Turkey vultures would do this.

Owlman said...

Chilibean good binocs are key. We have both Turkey and Black vultures around here. Its weird once you notice a bird, you'll see it more often!

dAwN, this was definitely a new experience for me too.

Thanks for popping in and commenting!