Avian Hitchhiking
A red-winged blackbird demonstration
May 24, 2020

Bird behavior does not always follow what is accustomed or typical. On last Wednesday, I watched a red-winged blackbird chase a red-tailed hawk.
Red-winged blackbird chasing red-tailed hawk

Yes, such chases are typical during spring when a red-wing has a nest to protect.

Totally unexpected was the red-winged blackbird landing on the red-tailed hawk and having a ride or a hitchhike.

Red-winged blackbird landing on red-tailed hawk

So maybe it didn't have anything to do with protective nesting behavior?
Red-winged blackbird on red-tailed hawk

Maybe the red-wing simply wanted the thrill of a sky-ride?
Red-winged blackbird on red-tailed hawk

Or perhaps it is a macho thing that male red-winged blackbirds do to compete among each other?

Whatever the reason, the hitchhiking blackbird looked as if it was having a good time.

Photo note: I used a Pentax K-3ii, with the Pentax 150-450mm lens, on May 20, 2020, for these photos.

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