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Re: SV: Rooks cooperate to get treats



Tommy Tyrberg writes:

A pair of Magpies mobbing a predator (e. g. a cat) sometimes work in a
co-ordinated manner with one bird confronting it and keeping it
distracted while the other hits it from behind. I've seen this myself.

My mother once heard a commotion in her front yard, and found three Australian magpies locked in battle with a wedge-tailed eagle! By all descriptions the fight wasn't all that coordinated (more an all-out brawl), but a magpie would have to have fairly close family bonds to go into a fight with Australia's biggest predatory bird and expect some back-up to arrive. They all eventually separated relatively unharmed (minus the occasional feather) - the real casualties were my mother's potted succulants and cacti that got caught in the crossfire.


For really impressive coorperative behaviour, you can't go past a Harris hawk hunting party. There was some really impressive footage in Attenborough's 'Life of Birds' showing them hunting rabbits. Some birds acted as 'flushers', others set up ambushes to capture the rabbit once it fled cover. In the end they all shared the carcass.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/239/4847/1525

http://www.carolinaraptorcenter.org/h_hawk.php

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Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist              http://geo_cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia             http://heretichides.soffiles.com
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