As soon as song birds lay eggs, the raptors start getting interested. They swoop down over a nest and help themselves to yummy, fresh food.
No matter how much the song birds fight over the best nesting sites, when a common enemy shows up, they band together to try and chase the predator away. Alas, this is rarely successful, especially if the raptor is very large, like this Swainson’s hawk.
This Crested Caracara, also known as Mexican Eagle, stole a chick from a Grackle’s nest. Its mate was on a nearby roof, waiting to share in this meal.
Once an adult Caracara killed an adult songbird in our yard and then gave it to its own chick that was sitting on my neighbor’s roof. Old enough to fly, it was still learning how to hunt.
The parent landed one roof over and watched while Junior ate his meal in about ten minutes.
It’s hard to watch, but I am always grateful to see nature in all its forms.