Murder by Crows

A flock of crows is called a murder. Here this morning, warranting the name, the crows massed in a gang attack on a fledgling White-tailed Kite. This fledgling, one of the pair that roosted in the treetop nest yesterday morning, had somehow got itself into the thick of one of the cypress trees near the rear corner of the hotel. There the crows found it. They assembled in a raucous gang of a dozen or more, and attacked the fledgling mercilessly. The fledgling defended itself as best it could. In the video you can see its wings flashing briefly as it twists and turns to ward off the assassins, and you can hear its screeching..

White-tailed Kite fledgling raises a wing while under crow attack

I was able to chase the crows away temporarily by standing under the tree and making a loud rasping noise like a large cat hissing, or maybe a large raptor hissing. The crows listened for a little while and decided whatever it was, they weren’t going to hang around to find out. But they undoubtedly returned after I left. I could not spend all day there.

This embattled fledgling very likely was one of the pair that I saw in the treetop nest yesterday morning. See item. This morning, only one fledgling appeared in the nest.

White-tailed Kite fledgling in treetop nest

A parent kite flew to the nest as I was watching and dropped in something that might have been food.

White-tailed Kite parent dropping something into nest

Apart from that, the kite parent remained passive on its perch high up on a tree neighboring the nest while the crows attacked the other fledgling in the cypress tree at the rear of the hotel, in plain view.

White-tailed Kite parent perches on nearby tree

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