Mobbing an Owl

I interrupt my series of migration photos for a short action sequence. Smaller birds often gang up on a larger bird, particularly a predator. This is especially true during breeding season when they do not want such a bird anywhere near their nesting sites. The smaller birds are usually a little too quick for the larger target bird and depend on their numbers to drive it off. It’s called “mobbing” and it is not without some risk.

This is a Barred Owl that was resting in a large tree until some Grackles, Blue Jays, Crows and others decided that it was not welcome. They started flying around and diving at it. It flew about 80 yards through the woods and landed at the top of a dead tree.

Is that something near its feet?

The continued mobbing forced the owl to fly back to its original tree. It sparred a bit with a crow.

This last glimpse as it flew off revealed what was at its feet in the dead tree. One Blue Jay wasn’t quite fast enough and the owl had his lunch.

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