Addison Airport at the north end of the runway.
Addison Airport at the north end of the runway.

I first spotted the Red-tailed Hawk as he sat perched atop a small tower near the north end of the runway.

A Red-tailed Hawk perched atop a light at Addison Airport.
A Red-tailed Hawk perched atop a light at Addison Airport.
This Red-tailed Hawk is about to be mobbed by a group of marauding crows.
This Red-tailed Hawk is about to be mobbed by a group of marauding crows.

Soon after I saw him, he was mobbed by a murder of American Crows. Ganging up on birds of prey is a favorite activity of crows. It is a sport they really seem to relish. The crows chased this hawk from one spot to another, before they bored and moved on.

The crows drove the hawk from his perch and down to the ground.
The crows drove the hawk from his perch and down to the ground.
There they continued to harass him.
There they continued to harass him.
The bird world's version of an old west showdown.
The bird world’s version of an old west showdown.
The hawk made a break for it, but the crows followed right behind.
The hawk made a break for it, but the crows followed right behind.
The crows impacted the hawk bodily on several occasions.
The crows impacted the hawk bodily on several occasions.
The Red-tailed Hawk tried to find sanctuary back on top of the light tower.
The Red-tailed Hawk tried to find sanctuary back on top of the light tower.
Eventually the hawk and crows came to some sort of understanding.  The crows left shortly thereafter.
Eventually the hawk and crows came to some sort of understanding. The crows left shortly thereafter.

With the crows gone, the Red-tailed Hawk’s mate felt comfortable joining him. The two hawks sat together for several minutes before the male was inspired to try and impress his partner.

With the crows gone, the first hawk was soon joined by his mate.
With the crows gone, the first hawk was soon joined by his mate.
The male swoops down off of the tower in search of a prize of some sort on the ground.
The male swoops down off of the tower in search of a prize of some sort on the ground.

The male left his perch and swooped down, pouncing on something unseen in the tall grass. After much jockeying and contriving, the male hawk took to the air with his prize and carried it over to show his mate.

Something in this tall grass has attracted the male hawk's attention.
Something in this tall grass has attracted the male hawk’s attention.
The hawk pounced on whatever it was in the tall grass, but the action was not over.
The hawk pounced on whatever it was in the tall grass, but the action was not over.
Empty-handed, the hawk returned to the air...
Empty-handed, the hawk returned to the air…
...Only to pounce once more.  This activity was repeated again and again.
…only to pounce once more. This activity was repeated again and again.
The target of the hawk's attack remained unseen.
The target of the hawk’s attack remained unseen.
A struggle ensued.
A struggle ensued.
The hawk worked hard to subdue his prey.
The hawk worked hard to subdue his prey.
Into the air in preparation for another pounce!
Into the air in preparation for another pounce!
Surely, the end is near.
Surely, the end is near.
Finally, the struggle ends.
Finally, the struggle ends.
The hawk takes to the air again clearly carrying something in his talons.
The hawk takes to the air again clearly carrying something in his talons.
What does he have?
What does he have?
The hawk carried his prey to this orange structure where he began calling to his mate.
The hawk carried his prey to this orange structure where he began calling to his mate.
The female hawk soon joined him there.
The female hawk soon joined him there.

As it turns out, the item the hawk brought to her was just a worthless scrap of black plastic sheeting. The female was duly unimpressed and she promptly left.

But, she was unimpressed by his prize and she quickly left.
The female turned her nose up at the worthless offering and exited unceremoniously.

In her absence, the crows were immediately inspired to return, and they finally succeeding driving the hapless hawk away for good.

Then the crows returned, much to the hawk's chagrin.
Then the crows returned, much to the hawk’s chagrin.
The crows became aggressive and the hawk began to look worried.
The crows became aggressive and the hawk began to look worried.
The hawk dropped his prize and beat a hasty retreat.  The item the hawk had been carrying appeared to be nothing more than a scrap of black plastic sheeting.  Very odd.
The hawk dropped his prize and beat a hasty retreat. The item the hawk had been carrying appeared to be nothing more than a scrap of black plastic sheeting. Very odd.
Crows Triumphant!
Crows Triumphant!

Observation Details

County Dallas
City Addison
Date Nov 1, 2009
Time of Day Morning
Temperature Cool (50-69°F/10-21°C)
Weather Clear
Habitat Commercial-Airport
Type of Behavior Interacting
Gender Mixed
Maturity Adult
Observer Chris Jackson
Main Article Red-tailed Hawk Observation Location