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Cough Up Or We'll Hurt You
http://www.birding.bc.ca/community/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=15989
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Author:  MDB8 [ Dec 04 7:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Cough Up Or We'll Hurt You

I haven’t posted for a long time. The site was appearing to be moribund, but a quick look today reveals some life in the website.

These photos are from the end of September at Point Roberts. (I’m just finalizing this batch now.)

Several species of ocean-going birds are seen at Point Roberts, but seldom if ever seen at other nearby locations. One of these rare species is the Parasitic Jaeger. They breed in the far north, but sometimes come south after breeding season. Many other birds hate them as they rob nests and steal eggs.

They tend to harass small birds like Common Terns and Bonaparte’s Gulls. In the sequence below, two light morph Parasitic Jaegers are harassing a Bonaparte’s Gull. The Gull has given up some food and it is floating down in the air. The white spot. The Jaegers immediately give up the chase and go after the food, with one catching it in the air.

This species is an outstanding flyer, capable of rapid turns and high speed chases.

I wonder how the Gull learned to take this action. Akin to a bank robber throwing cash out of his car in order to distract chasing police. Both the Jaegers and the Gulls and Terns must have learned this behaviour.

Very distant photos, but they illustrate this event. On this outing there were at least 4 Jaegers flying about, perhaps as many as 6.

There are some additional “Prelim” photos of this outing on the Flickr page. In one shot a Gull is attacking a swimming Parasitic Jaeger.


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Author:  revs [ Dec 04 9:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cough Up Or We'll Hurt You

Happy to see your work again Mike, keep em coming!

Author:  ogopogo [ Dec 04 9:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cough Up Or We'll Hurt You

very interesting event and great background info Mike. nice to learn something new. lol on the police reference. reminds me of Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop.

Author:  MDB8 [ Dec 05 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cough Up Or We'll Hurt You

Addendum.

Late last Summer, a member of the smallest species of Jaegers set up shop in Kelowna by the lakefront. A Long-tailed Jaeger. As I had photos of the other two species, the Parasitic and the Pomarine Jaegers, I drove there hoping to see the bird.

It was an amazing bird to watch. Firstly, it was fearless. It sat beside the pedestrian walk around the lake and didn't move when walkers came by with their dogs. When food was available, it ignored larger birds like Gulls and just went for it.

The most surprising behaviour, though, was seal-like or dog-like. A couple sat on a bench overlooking the water and tossed a piece of a sandwich to the Jaeger. It walked over and stood about 10 feet away from them and waited (expecting that it had trained them properly). When the people started to toss a sandwich piece to the Jaeger, it leaped into the air like a dog to grab the piece in flight.

At that point I wished I had brought along a tin of sardines. It probably would have done backflips for such a treat.

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Author:  nealdoan [ Dec 27 10:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cough Up Or We'll Hurt You

Interesting stuff. Haven’t seen these before. Thanks for sharing.

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