Wednesday, February 6, 2013

European Starling Teamwork

Eric writes:  A couple days ago a Cooper's Hawk swooped through our bird feeding station and caught a European Starling.  Upon closer inspection there were actually two European Starlings; one was in the talons of the Cooper's and the other was holding onto the foot of the other starling.  The only conclusion I could come to, was the one starling was trying to help the other escape the grasp of the Cooper's. After about a minute the Cooper's flew off with the one starling and the other starling flew off in the other direction.  Have you ever seen or heard about this kind of behavior?

Sharp-shinned Hawk-this sharpie was photographed a few weeks ago;
not the same bird as mentioned above.


Laurence Butler said...

Interesting! I have seen to squabbling Starling preyed upon (being in a distracted state), and their talons were sort of locked in a death grip, but both were killed very quickly and the lucky 2 for 1 Coopers flew off with both.

Very cool

Kelly said...

Interesting...I've never seen it, but they do work together notifying others when I come out to refill the feeders.

Eric Ripma said...

Laurence, that's exactly what I thought was happening when I first saw it but the Cooper's never bothered with the other starling.

Kelly, our birds do the same thing . . . especially the Blue Jays.