Though, as was posted yesterday, hummingbirds do not ride geese (or any other species) south during migration, sometimes a bird will briefly catch a ride on another bird. Many have probably already seen the famous Red-winged Blackbird riding the Red-tailed Hawk photo but just this past August another photographer managed to catch a Western Kingbird riding a different Red-tailed Hawk. Both times it is assumed that the smaller birds were seeking to drive away the hawk. Has anyone out there see this happen with other species?
No, I haven’t but in another context, birds frequently ride birds, which I have seen myself:
In Africa, smaller flycatching birds like Drongos or bee-eaters will regularly not only perch on mammals but also on the backs of large bustards and korhaans to catch the insects flushed by these birds strutting through the high grass.
Now we also have to check if fly-catching birds will occasionally perch on the backs of large migratory birds not to migrate but to get food! Well, any volunteers for Empid ID on a Turkey Vulture’s back?
Does this count?
I’ve seen a red-winged blackbird riding a great egret when it was wading.
The blackbird was dive bombing the egret, but the egret ignored it. The blackbird resorted to actually landing on the egret’s black, pecking and pulling at feathers. For a few seconds nothing happened, but eventually this made the egret take flight. Once the egret started to fly the blackbird also flew away.
It happened at the pond in Forest Park, and unfortunately I didn’t have a camera to take a picture.
I found this via Digg just now:
Searching for more info brought me to your page.
Yes, I have seen this multiple times and have gotten pictures of redwinged black birds riding both redtailed hawks and bald eagles.
I have seen a red-winged blackbird riding a great blue heron. It was a similar scenario to the blackbird/egret described above.