A fearless tiny peregrine falcon battles a much larger pelican in the air
Suspected bird play: A fearless tiny peregrine falcon fights a much larger pelican in mid-air after it flies too close to its nesting site
- The images were taken by a postman at Torrey Pines Beach in San Diego
- Both birds escaped from the fight unharmed and the young ones were not injured
The moment a tiny falcon bravely attacks a pelican that flew too close to its nest has been captured on stunning footage.
The photos were taken by Decker Nomura at Torrey Pines Beach in San Diego.
Postman from California saw pelican came too close to the nesting site and said the peregrine falcon was afraid of the other bird.
Mr Nomura, 54, said: “When the pelican approached the peregrine nesting site, the alert parent falcon prepared to defend its nest, even though the pelican did not want to harm the nest or the chicks inside.
“I consider myself lucky to see it as it only happens for a short time in May. Falcons patrol the nesting area and attack if they feel there is a threat to their chicks.’
A postman in California saw a pelican get too close to its nesting site and said the peregrine falcon was afraid of another bird
Mr Nomura, 54, said: “When the pelican approached the peregrine falcon’s nesting site, the alert parent falcon prepared to defend its nest, even though the pelican did not want to harm the nest or the chicks in it.”
He added: “Only the pelican’s ego was hurt when the smaller falcon hit them and then took them out of the nest.”
“I love that the much smaller falcon is fearless against the larger pelican and will protect her chicks no matter the consequences.”
Peregrine falcons are among the rarest breeding birds in San Diego County, with a population of about 15 pairs, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
The number of peregrine falcons declined after the 1940s as a result of the widespread use of pesticides such as DDT.
They remain federally protected under the Migratory Bird Conservation Act.
A falcon can be seen flying towards a pelican
“Falcons will protect their chicks regardless of the consequences,” Mr. Nomura said
The photographer said: “Only the pelican’s ego was hurt when the smaller falcon hit them and then took them out of the nest.”
Mr Nomura added: “I’m lucky to see it happen as it only happens for a short time in May. Falcons patrol their nesting grounds and attack when their chicks are threatened.
The peregrine falcon is found on all continents except Antarctica and on many oceanic islands.
Peregrine falcons hunt from a height and, upon sighting their prey, launch into a steep dive or swoop that can exceed 200 miles per hour.
Feeding areas are connected to the nesting area. This typically includes coastal shorelines, bodies of water, shorelines, open grasslands, marshes, and wooded areas.
The bird participates in one of the longest migrations in North America, with some making round trips of up to 15,550 miles.