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An Additional Note on the Following "Habit in Hawks"

W. Sprague Brooks
Publication Information
3 (May-June)
From Field and Study

An Additional Note on the “Following” Habit in Hawks

Mr. Leopold's note on the “following” habit, in hawks in THE CONDOR, volume 25, page 180, brings to mind experiences I had with Pigeon Hawks (Tinnunculus columbarius) in the Magdalep Islands, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada. During the summers of 1906, 1907 and 1908, I frequently walked the shores of Grindstone Island where we had our headquarters. Often one of these little falcons would follow me along the beach, directly over my head, at a height of perhaps twenty feet or, more often, a few yards behind me, all the while uttering its shrill, chattering call. I was too far from the bush to be disturbing any nesting birds, and I was on the open beach where shorebirds should have been obvious enough without disturbing them, to attract any predatory bird.

Many predacious birds, mammals, and, I think, fishes have definite limits to their hunting areas, within which the intrusion of others is variously resented, or not, resented, according to the pugnacity of the species or individual. I doubt that any following is done in anticipation of prey being frightened into visible motion.

Digressing slightly from the main theme, there is one “follower”, at any rate in the East, that goes out for “game”. If you are collecting birds’ eggs, our Red Fox will unquestionably follow along and clean up the short sets you are waiting for, should you go too near, and the result shall be “nihil ex ovo”.

W. Sprague Brooks

Boston Society of Natural Hietory, Boston, October 25, 1923;

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