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Old 10-17-2015, 12:40 PM   #1
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Default Hawks and hummingbirds...good neighbors?

I didn't know that hawks don't prey on hummingbirds. Or maybe they are just hard to catch? But they sure keep other predators away. Humming birds and babies wouldn't be enough of a meal to replace energy expended by the raptors so why bother. Read what was learned in the field ...

Why a Hawk Is a Hummingbird?s Best Friend | Audubon

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We know that timid species often hang out near more aggressive species for protection. Sometimes they’re trying to avoid one predator in particular. Geese, for example, sometimes nest near Snowy Owls because the owls eat the foxes that would otherwise eat the geese. But it’s often tricky to figure out which predator acts as the “middleman” in such a situation—who, exactly, is hiding from whom? So the researchers looked at several hummingbird predators, including squirrels, snakes, and chipmunks, before settling on Mexican Jays as the likeliest suspect (they’d caught the jays on camera pillaging hummingbird nests).
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When they cross-referenced the GPS coordinates of hummingbird and hawk nests with the locations where jays were foraging, they expected to see “a big circle around the hawk where the jays just never went,” said Greeney. Instead they discovered that while jays do forage close to hawk nests, they do so at higher altitudes than normal, staying above hawks that typically hunt from above then swoop down on their prey. Greeney found that hummingbirds build their nests under the hawks’, in a “cone-shaped space where jays never go, right around the hawks.”
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Old 10-17-2015, 01:21 PM   #2
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Who would have guessed!
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