Standoff at Sacramento NWR

Peregine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon; The falcon clings to the dead female mallard while plucking its feathers.

No, not government agents vs. protestors. On Jan 7th, Donna and I visited the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge near Willows, CA.  The highlight of the trip was a standoff between a peregrine falcon, a gull, and a Turkey Vulture. The falcon was standing guard over a female mallard. It was not clear if he brought it down himself or found it. Regardless, he was guarding his prize. The first interloper was the turkey vulture. He made some strafing runs at the falcon and was able to drive him off for a short period of time, but the falcon eventually prevailed. The second interloper was a gull, possibly a herring gull. It was a lot more reticent. It mostly stood watch while the falcon ate. But, he did try one attack. The falcon would have nothing of it and expressed his displeasure. In the end, the falcon consumed his meal while the vulture and gull looked on. We left before any battle over the leftovers ensued. There wasn’t much leftover to fight about.

Regards,

Larry

Note: Click on caption to see image in larger size.

Peregine Falcon, Turkey Vulture
Peregrine Falcon, Turkey Vulture; The falcon protects his prey from the turkey vulture.
Peregine Falcon, Turkey Vulture
Peregrine Falcon, Turkey Vulture;Vulture attacks, falcon abandons prey amidst flying feathers.
Peregine Falcon, Herring Gull
Peregrine Falcon, Herring Gull;  The gull arrives and begins apprising the situation. The falcon gives a threatening stare.
Peregine Falcon, Herring Gull
Peregrine Falcon, Herring Gull;  The gull gives off a war cry and begins a futile try that fails.
Peregine Falcon, Herring Gull
Peregrine Falcon, Herring Gull; Stay away; this is mine.
Peregrine Falcon, Herring Gull, Turkey, Vulture
Peregrine Falcon, Herring Gull, Turkey Vulture; The standoff ended with the falcon consuming his meal while the others waited, hoping for scraps.

Note: These and other images are available for purchase at www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry@earthwatcher.us.

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