Red-tail vs Eagle in Flight

Red-tail vs Eagle in Flight- go ahead, cast your ballots. Who will be the winning bird in this territorial dispute?

Details: Observed in western PA in the Allegheny Mountains in an open field in late October, 2008.

A pair of Red Tail Hawks soaring overhead while I set up my tiny tent between two large bales of rolled hay.

I took out my compact Bushnell binoculars from my pocket to confirm their identification. I silently sent them a “message” – Okay beautiful birds, I know this is Your dinner table but it is my place to sleep for the next few days, so let’s not make it an issue, ok? They continued to circle oblivious to my silent plea for a truce.

The next morning before I crawled out of my tent, of course I LOOKED out the windows. Observed 4 deer (all does) feeding about 50 feet away and my hawks were not yet stirring in the sky.

I stayed in the tent until the fog cleared to let the deer feed longer, so I quietly packed up my gear, glancing out the windows now and then.

After it warmed up and the deer moved on, I began to carry my gear to the car in small bundles. That was about 11 AM and bright and sunny.

I glanced overhead in response to a keening call from a hawk. And was I ever surprised. The red-tail was chasing and harrassing a HUGE bird. (Note to non-birders- Red tail Hawks are BIG birds.) My first thought was “My gosh Red is chasing a golden eagle!” I ducked behind the hay bales and scurried back to the tent for my binoculars to confirm my ridiculous siting.

As I grabbed my compact Bushnells, I said to myself,” Duh, Golden Eagles don’t LIVE here!” Now flat on the ground I rolled over for a better view and confirmed it was a indeed a red-tail hawk harassing a JUVENILE BALD EAGLE right out of its territory. The juvenile persisted for a while and made some large circles around the field perhaps 100 ft overhead.

The hawk persisted in chasing, calling and harassing until finally with the flick of a wing feather the juvenile bald eagle left the scene. The hawk returned to the treeline and I rolled over in the grass, stunned and thrilled by this early morning wild-life show.

Cheers for vacation time! Thanks Birds!

So which one did YOU choose as the winner?

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

11 Responses to Red-tail vs Eagle in Flight

  1. The way I came to find this wonderful blog is a story in itself, let’s just say it’s been a night of coincedences! The theme is attractive and I love all of the articles, pictures, and videos. And it has a wide variety of birding products as well.
    I will have to come back several times a week to get caught up to the current entries! I’ve been looking for a site like this. Thanks, Donna.
    By the way, how about information on bird feeders and types of feed to attract specific species of birds?

    Judson Lassiter

  2. Thanks for the lovely comments, Judson. I appreciate your insight too. What a cool idea to add info about bird feeders. You might find some of that at my companion site. If you get a chance to visit, tell me what you think there too. Feeders will be coming soon.

  3. Judson, I just remembered to tell you where the feeders are on THIS SITE go to the gift shop.

  4. Pingback: Bird Binoculars-Birdwatching Guides and a long drive - Bird Binoculars - Birdwatching Binoculars - Birding

  5. Hello, I live in Florida and I had the same expierence this morning on my way to the store I saw a young eagle siting on the side of the road earing road kill. I turned around and when I was almost to her she flew right in front of my car to the other side of the road and pearched up in a tall pine tree. Then all of the sudden a red tail hawk came out of nowhere and started bomb diving her three or four times and then she flew back across the road and it follwed her chasing and diving until she flew out of sight. It was so awsone to see.

  6. Celeste, Thanks for sharing your eagle story too. Juveniles have not always learned to be good enough hunters to always eat live prey. And then there are other birds (or sometimes coyotes) that want that road kill badly enough to fight for it. Ours is an awesome world and fearful for those who are the prey!
    Come back again. Donna

  7. That’s a really lovely story. Always have been fascinated by the flight off the eagle. So majestic. but yet so powerful. Simply great. Thanks again for the nice article. Appreciate the effort. Cheers

  8. Thanks. I appreciate your feedback. Always glad to share another birding adventure. Come back again. Check out my new Better Birding ECourse, it is free.

  9. Pingback: » A pair of Red Tail Hawks soaring overhead while

  10. That is a great sight to see, the red tail vs. eagle is such a marvelous combination of magnificent birds. Using a wild bird feeder may entice them to come closer and feed at your location. That may bring more opportunities for sightings.

  11. Pingback: Falcons Fight in Flight Video - Birding Binoculars - Bird Binoculars - Bird-Watching Binoculars

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