Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Co-existing ......

Here in East  Northamptonshire we are blessed with goodly numbers of Common Buzzard as well as an ever growing population of Red Kites.

Given that both species have similar diets it has always surprised me that the two species co-exist so well when their territories are so close.

I have rarely seen any aggressive interaction between these birds other than during the breeding season when either species will fiercely defend their nests should the other stray too close.

Having said that, if feeding on carrion the
Buzzards tend to dominate the Kites and will not allow them to approach too closely until it has finished feeding.

Otherwise they seem to happily share their joint territories and can often be seen soaring in the same thermal systems with no element of mobbing by either species.  

Douglas McFarlane, another keen Northamptonshire based naturalist and photographer  told me the following story.

'' They work together at times too. I was travelling along the lanes at the back of Fineshades Wood and saw a Buzzard and Red Kite perched on a hedgerow. The Buzzard was watching my approach and the kite was looking in the other direction, 

The Buzzard called and another Buzzard and two further Kites took off from the ground where I later saw that there was a road kill.

I parked up and the birds returned with a Buzzard and Kite again sitting on top of the hedgerow, about ten minutes later a truck came along from the opposite direction, this time the Kite called and again they disappeared, they were acting I believe as lookouts ''.

A great story to end on.

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