Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2017.

All photographs and text within this blog are copyrighted.

You may not copy or repost any photos or text without specific permission from the author of this blog. When in doubt, please ask.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Nature Friday - Magpies and Ravens vs. Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagles and the corvids (magpies and ravens) both wanted the elk carcass to themselves. When an eagle was on the carcass, the magpies would get upset if they couldn't nibble along side him. You can imagine that one whack by an eagle wing or tail would flatten the smaller birds.
So, the magpies started pulling on the tail feathers of the eagle, which seemed to upset him a great deal. Sometimes, he'd actually fly away, leaving the magpies to eat in peace.

The ravems also got in on the act. They'd go behind the eagle but the video didn't give a clear view of exactly what they did back there. Nonetheless, the eagle would get upset, flapping his wings and causing them to scatter.

Check out the video if you have time. I found the clips to be fascinating. I have a whole new respect for magpies and ravens.


  1. me too and I really wondered how brave they were...

  2. Such silly birds to mess with the eagle but they did get their way in the end.

  3. AMAZING! And they call them bird-brains!?!

  4. to me this is the equivalent of tugging on superman's cape.. they are truly brave and this is funny to me. great capture

  5. Pecking order(pun intended) here is obvious....
    Hugs Cecilia

  6. Awesome video. One can imagine how irritating it is to have one's tail feathers tweaked! Corvids are super smart.
    Can I recommend the book 'Corvus. A Life with Birds' by Aberdeen writer Esther Woolfson. A fascinating read.
    Cheers, Gail.

  7. Oh my gosh, that is just too funny. You have to wonder if those birds are really brave or just stupid - LOL! Don't they know big birds like that sometimes kill smaller ones? Safety in numbers maybe?
    We often know when there is a hawk around because we'll hear all the little birds putting up a stink (mostly in the spring when they have nests), and we sometimes see a group of small birds harassing the hawks in flight too.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  8. Hari OM
    Ah yes, mighty clever and cheeky birds, the corvid family! I see Gail has already mentioned the book I was going to bring to your attention. YAM xx

  9. I am not a big fan of magpies but you have to admire their tenacity. I have two ravens that I feed on a regular basis during the winter and this is the first winter that the magpies have been around to steal their food. I am amazed that the ravens will not chase off the magpies but will let them have first choice of the food. Frustrates me to no end as I don't want to feed a whole flock of magpies! Your videos, as always, are very enlightening and entertaining. Hope you are well.

  10. This is hilarious, tail tugging and it did work somewhat.That wing span, and the noisy calls, I had the volume turned up loud, to be there in real life would be the most amazing sight .

  11. BLK Dog,
    May You Bark With Enthusiasm , Eat With Heartiness , & Sleep With Serious Intentions.

    You Are Loved Buddy,

  12. You can see who's boss for sure.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ♥

  13. What a great video. Those smaller birds sure are cheeky.

  14. Dang, those small birds sure are brave and the eagle is beautiful.

  15. Those magpies were persistent, weren't they?

  16. Little schnauzer Xena (and I) watched this video with fascination.

  17. these things are so interesting
    and there is a pecking order with all the birds
    wonderful to see
    thank you for capturing and sharing

  18. Those magpies are either very hungry or ruthlessly relentless!


If you are a Blogger registered user, you can skip the step asking you to verify that you are not a spammer. For posts older than 5 days, I have comment moderation turned on.

Thanks for your comments!!!!!