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Robin subdues a lizard (not for the faint of heart)

Richard Bradus
 

Hi all.

Spent a bit of this fine morning exploring Alemany Farm, my first visit to this community resource with some good bird activity, though marred by a lot of noise from the adjacent freeway. Some active breeders, including Bushtits, Hooded Orioles, Starlings and Phoebes (not to mention butterflies and friendly people!). And something I never expected - a Robin taking down a lizard!

My attention was first drawn to a nice garter snake, then I spotted a nearby Fence Lizard opening its mouth in a defiant display. This had the unfortunate effect of drawing in a foraging Robin, which soon grabbed the lizard by the tail and began thrashing it about. The lizard lost the end of its tail but, undeterred, continued its defiant face off. The Robin chased after it and caught it again, thrashing it about multiple times, biting off more of the tail and finally bashing the lizard's head against the ground multiple times and subduing it. It then grabbed the limp body and carried it off. I managed to capture a bit of the action in photos:

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Sometimes it just isn't wise to mouth off! It's rough out there. And you thought your day was stressful!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco