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Call of the wild

Posted by Marcia Dick  January 10, 2012 10:05 AM

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Medford photographer George McLean takes us along on his recent journeys, and illustrates how wild birds don't always get along:

"(Above) Sunday around 11 a.m., the young Red-tailed hawk sat on top of a grave column, watching me. Suddenly he looked up (click), and the next thing I knew, all I could see was a jumble of feathers. He had been attacked by a much bigger mature Red tail. They rose into the heights, locked in combat. I kept taking pictures hoping I was capturing the struggle.

"The young bird might be one that was born there this spring and the mature hawk  might be his father, "Hamlet," the resident boss Red tail of Mount Auburn. He has his right leg banded.

"I think the unseasonably warm weather has brought the mature birds into an early mating season. They separated and the huge black and maroon bird sat on a branch, while the small bird disappeared.

"The injured young bird was seen Monday not doing so well. I am going to search for him today. Wish me luck."


"(Below) I have been watching Red-tailed hawks behave oddly while I pursue eagles on the Mystic River and lakes. Mature birds seem to be hanging around last year's nesting area. This bird is being chased by a mocking bird, who are very territorial. I have one at my house feeder every day."



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