Re: When Sharpies act like swallows - Enjoying the sky show!

Alvaro Jaramillo


  I worked on Swainson’s Hawks ages ago and published on their dragonfly eating behavior. As far as I know, all raptors that catch dragonflies in the air do it with the talons. What you will see is fast changes in direction, and the talons will be deployed and visible when they catch a dragonfly. So you may want to look for that type of movement. Merlins are a bit different, but the quick changes in direction are apparent when they are in the dragonfly group.



Alvaro Jaramillo



From: <> On Behalf Of Jim Chiropolos
Sent: Tuesday, August 2, 2022 5:54 PM
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] When Sharpies act like swallows - Enjoying the sky show!


Working today, I heard swifts above the house in Orinda. Getting the bins out, I saw a bunch of swifts zooming around high in the sky, just barely identifyable. Flying with them, diving and climbing, was a sharp-shinned hawk, acting like a swallow. This sharpie is way up high in the sky, maybe 500? feet or more. A bunch of Barn and violet-green swallows are also flying high above the house. I have seen and described this behavior before but not quite sure why.

Now I think I have the answer, scanning the sky with my bins, I have seen several dragonflies high up in the sky. Its just not swallows and swifts feeding on what is carried by todays thermals but dragonflies too. And I am willing to bet that is what the sharpie is feeding on!

Very cool behavior if I’m right. Some birds are very adaptable!
(No doubt for the sharpie - wing shape/profile perfect and occasional burst of wing flaps, and once passed by a red tail for size comparison.

Enjoying the sky show today!

Jim Chiropolos 

Join to automatically receive all group messages.