[Tweeters] rough-legged hawk/short-eared owl encounter

Louise Kulzer tatooshtakto at gmail.com
Fri Feb 5 07:47:35 PST 2021

I spent the sunny morning this Wednesday on the Sammish flats. I saw an
adult rough-legged hawk perched on a utility pole right along
Bayview/Edison Road. I pulled over to look more closely at the RLHA and
saw this behavior, for which there are two possible interpretations:
Behavior observed: The RLHA flew into the field to the west of the road
and landed on the ground about 300 feet out. It didn't hover and I stopped
watching it as it was hard to see in the grass. Soon, however, I noticed
(without binocs) the RLHA lift it's wings and another bird flying low and
away from the RLHA . In checking with my binoculars, I saw the bird come
back and strike the RLHA--the attacking bird was a short-eared owl. The
owl attacked the hawk at least 3 more times, finally taking up patrolling
to the west of the area the hawk was sitting. The hawk stayed put the rest
of the time I watched (about 20 min) and was not attacked again,
Story 1: Perhaps the RLHA noticed that the SEOW had made a kill and flew
over and commandeered the item. The SEOW tried to regain the item by
diving at the RLHA, but was unable to displace it and so resumed hunting.
Story 2: The RLHA killed the item and the SEOW tried to take it from her .
Which of the stories do you think is more likely?

Louise Kulzer
206, 371-6295
tatooshtakto at gmail.com
"...in this world I am as rich as I need to be." Mary Oliver
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