Friday, July 3, 2015

The Crow and the Eagle

Images by California-based photographer Phoo Chan, who says,
Crows are known for aggressively harassing other raptors that are much bigger in size when spotted in their territories and usually these ‘intruders’ simply retreat without much fuss. However, in this frame the crow did not seem to harass the bald eagle at such close proximity and neither did the bald eagle seem to mind the crow’s presence invading its personal space. What made it even more bizarre was that the crow even made a brief stop on the back of the eagle as if it was taking a free scenic ride and the eagle simply obliged.


Shadow said...

An eagle in flight is no match for a smaller, more jet fighter-like bird. I once watched what I think was an American Kestrel (or something like it) beat the crap out an eagle. That eagle couldn't get out of there fast enough.

G. Verloren said...

From all I know of wild birds, I'd hazard to say these two know each other and are "friends" of sorts.

To many people the notion may seem ludicrous, but many of the larger birds are stunningly intelligent, and have very good memories. Moreover, while to many people one crow or eagle looks largely indistinguishable from another, such birds display a capacity for recognizing individuals among themselves - and even among us humans, which I find twice as impressive.

It's been shown that such birds develop affinities towards individuals that treat them well, as well as rivalries against those that treat them poorly. If you earn their trust, or lose it, they will remember your actions and respond accordingly when around you.

While it's unusual to see two completely wild birds behaving this way, its certainly within the bounds of believability. And once we factor in potential human influence - perhaps the crow and eagle would both visit a fisherman who left them fish scraps, or similar - if find it rather easy to believe these two could very well be on rather cordial terms with each other.