This morning (7/19/2015) I heard the frantic, continuous chirping, buzzing, and ticking of a mob of small birds in the copse of willow and ash on the east side of the creek at Sabino Dam. I slipped in and found Lesser Goldfinch, Abert’s Towhees and Verdins popping in and out—noisy and furious. Even pairs of Broad-billed Hummingbirds zipped in and out of the canopy like kids chasing each other at a picnic. Nothing gets birds as excited as the presence of a small owl. Mobbing is when individuals of different species cooperate in harassing a nearby predator. After 10 minutes I finally spotted this cryptic Western Screech Owl, which according to the book weighs 5-ounces and is about 8-inches long.
|Photo by Mark Hengesbaugh 7/19/2015
Anne says: In German, Mobbing means bullying. (Hi Alexa!)