Sunday, July 22, 2012
I'd Rather B Birdin: Divebomb
Another observation from the campground at Fruita, Utah in Capitol Reef National Park. The campground offered a lot of birding opportunities, being next to the orchards, the Fremont river and the canyons and mountains of Capitol Reef. A number of Western Kingbirds (Tyrannus verticalis) had nests in the trees of the campground.
There were also a couple of ravens (Corvus corax) who came to check if anyone had left anything tasty out and to gorge themselves on the ripe apricots growing in the orchards.
The kingbirds were not thrilled to see them.
I followed the raven around for a few minutes while it was wandering across the campground, constantly divebombed by the kingbirds. I could tell when to start shooting by the behaviour of the raven, but often the attack were so fast that I ended up with lots of photos of a ducked raven and the kingbird already out of the frame.
But I did get some good shots of the kingbirds in mid-attack. They were swift and mobile, swooping in from above, usually turning away at the last moment, but sometimes they actually made contact. The raven wandered off eventually (but it had taken some kingbird chicks from the nest the day before, someone told me).
I'd Rather B Birdin', the Sunday birding meme!
Western Kingbirds at Internet Bird Collection
Ravens at IBC
Ravens at Wikipedia