Cooperative attacks by urban Peregrines on Common Buzzards

Published on 02 May 2015 in Main articles

By Nick Dixon and Andrew Gibbs

Abstract Observations of the Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus that nest on a church in Exeter city centre have revealed levels of interspecific aggression previously unrecorded in Britain. This paper summarises the frequency and timing of coordinated attacks on Common Buzzards Buteo buteo, several of which proved fatal. The strategy employed by the Peregrines during a typical attack is described and illustrated.

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An attack on a Common Buzzard by a Peregrine Falcon in Exeter, Devon. This shot, taken over the Exe Estuary in October 2014, shows a Buzzard in typical defensive behavior, turning upside down to present its talons towards its attacker; this is typical of the first stoop by a pair working in tandem.

An attack on a Common Buzzard by a Peregrine Falcon in Exeter, Devon. This shot, taken over the Exe Estuary in October 2014, shows a Buzzard in typical defensive behavior, turning upside down to present its talons towards its attacker; this is typical of the first stoop by a pair working in tandem.