Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Blakeman on redtail fights

Karen Kolling wrote in about the various territorial disputes posted recently on Http://

Photos on make me wonder about territorial fighting. How serious is it in terms of potential damage to the intruder or PM or Lola, or is it primarily making territory known? Some photos look a little hair-raising,



Blakeman replied:

As disconcerting as the photos might be, there is virtually no physical threat involved. It's essentially all show, with talons extended, etc.
Notice, not a photo shows any real physical contact. That very seldom occurs, and when it does, the residents really nail the intruder.
The intruders are just spring migrants on their way north. They aren't hanging around for any time.
So, it's a all just a show. Enjoy it. It's an aerial dance of wings and talons that none of the dancers with celebs can approach with their mere two-dimensional movements across a dance floor. Pale Male and the others have the entire sky, and when passing migrants drift by the nest area, they use it in an ancestral choreography of territorial defense.
--John Blakeman