It looks like I won’t have much opportunity to get outdoors this weekend, so here’s something from my “random thoughts” file.
When humans aspire to flight prowess, they often turn to the raptors. Fighter aircraft are named after Eagles, Falcons, and so on.
I find this rather curious when you consider that the hunting success of raptors can be as low as 10%, depending on the prey. I’ve heard credible stories, and I’ve witnessed myself, cases where a raptor was completely out-flown.
The back of my house is L-shaped. One day I happened to be looking out a window near the inside corner of the L when two birds came around the far corner, going fast. They headed into the corner where I couldn’t see, but I heard a soft whump against the side of the house at the same time as a Mourning Dove shot out across the window in front of me and off into the woods. This all took place within about 1.5 seconds. I looked around and saw a rather ruffled Cooper’s Hawk sitting on a nearby tree branch. I think that dove knew exactly what she was doing by going into that corner where she could outmaneuver the hawk and escape.
So who’s the better flier?
The truth of the matter is that all birds are masters of flight, as that’s the way they get around and conduct their business of survival. An inept flier, in the wild, would not survive long.