Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Magpie harassing an owl

East of Powell. May, 2009.

Magpies are members of the corvid family, which includes crows and jays. They are particularly prone to attacking or harassing owls. Often they do this in groups, and the behavior is known as "mobbing." It is more common when magpies and crows are nesting. Owls feed on smaller birds, and one speculation is that mobbing is a way corvids use to teaching their young about the dangers of owls.

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