Attack of the Mockingbird


Coming home from SA State Park yesterday morning we spotted a hawk on the power line along the highway as we sped by.  I quickly checked my mirrors then done a neat U-turn and came back and stopped near the curb, opposite the bird.  On closer examination with my binoculars I believe  it to be an immature Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni).

Swainson’s Hawk – immature

A few feet away on the same wire, was a Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos).  As we watched, the mockingbird decided he didn’t like the presence of the hawk.  It would take off, fly a bit and and harass the hawk.  Repeatedly, it would fly at the hawk, actually coming in contact with it.  It was trying to knock the hawk off of the wire, or at least get it to fly away.  The hawk would have none of it, and it just stood or sat it’s ground and continued to take the beating.

Swainson’s Hawk and Northern Mockingbird

Swainson’s Hawk and Northern Mockingbird

Swainson’s Hawk under attack by a Northern Mockingbird

As you can see, the Northern Mockingbird wasn’t messing around.  He meant business, but the hawk ignored him as if he was just a pesky mosquito.  He eventually gave it up and said adios to the hawk.

Click on any photo to see an enlargement.