“Life is only understood viewed backwards, but it must be lived forwards” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Zone-tailed Hawks

The soaring hawks, the Buteos, soar with their wings horizontal while vultures soar with their wings held in a vee. When hawks fly over, the small prey animals hide. As vultures do not attack live animals, rabbits and other prey have learned to ignore vultures, either through observation, or more likely (to my mind) through evolution. 

I stole this photo from Erik Bruhnke. (Lorna made him a Minnesota wildrice hotdish down in Texas so he owes me.) His photo shows a Turkey Vulture (L) and a Zone-tailed Hawk (R). Selective evolution can do amazing things. The Zone-tails are the same color as the Turkey Vultures, they hold their wings at a classic Turkey Vulture angle, AND they tend to soar with flocks of vultures, where they can hide in plain sight to sneak up on their prey. 

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