Central Virginia 3/3/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Stuart's Draft

I had errands to run in Waynesboro this afternoon, and decided to stop first at the intersection of Hall School and Lipscomb roads in Stuart's Draft. A Rough-legged Hawk had often been reported there this winter. I hadn't seen it yet this year, although I had seen this species there in previous winters.

As soon as I parked my car, a hawk flew up from a field, and I thought I was going to be lucky. Drats! It was a Red-tailed Hawk.

Red-tailed Hawk

And then out of nowhere, the Rough-legged Hawk came and immediately engaged the Red-tailed Hawk in aerial battle. The Rough-legged Hawk succeeded in driving the Red-tailed Hawk away.

Rough-legged Hawk

But it appeared that the Rough-legged Hawk wasn't satisifed that the battle was over, and soared over the field, looking for the Red-tailed Hawk.

And then the Rough-legged Hawk spotted the Red-tailed Hawk, and once again, engaged in battle.

But the Red-tailed Hawk got the upper hand, and started to chase the Rough-legged Hawk.

To my amazement, the Rough-legged Hawk did a "Top Gun" move, breaking its flight and dropping down to come up behind the Red-tailed Hawk. It ferociously attacked the Red-tailed Hawk and drove it away.

The Rough-legged Hawk took off, and I continued my journey. A few "farm" blocks away, I saw the Red-tailed Hawk sitting on a power line. It looked exhausted, and its feathers were all disheveled.

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