Air Show: Crested Caracaras vs Harris's Hawks vs Turkey Vultures

March 31, 2016

When we travel to and from Organ Pipe National Monument, we always keep an eye out for Crested Caracaras, and we usually see one between Kitt Peak and Sells.

This time just below Kitt Peak, we spotted our guy, but quickly realized that he had company.

There were, in fact, two Crested Caracaras, four Harris's Hawks and two Turkey Vultures, all having a noisy dispute about a fresh kill.
Here's the back end of one of the Caracaras, showing off his brilliant white primaries and tailfeathers.
Two of the four Harris's Hawks, grabbing a bite between fending off the falcons and the vultures. Were they the ones who made the kill?
One of the hawks takes a dive from his post at the top of the tallest saguaro.
A turkey vulture dive bombs one of the Caracaras.
The hawks finally chase away the interlopers.
King of the cactus.
"Hear me roar!"