Date: 11/4/18 1:18 pm
From: Alyssa DeRubeis <alderubeis...>
Subject: Sparrow vs meadowlark?!
Something intriguing I observed this morning at Chesney Prairie Natural Area (Siloam Springs, Benton Co.) was an apparently agitated Field Sparrow. It did not want to share the area with a foraging Eastern Meadowlark, so it chased it! The meadowlark flew a short distance, only to be dive-bombed again by the persistent sparrow. Then it flew off and was never bothered again.

This reminds me of an observation back in 2012 in South Dakota, when I saw an Eastern Kingbird chasing an Upland Sandpiper. Of course kingbirds aren’t called tyrants for nothing, but I remember nonetheless feeling shocked that it perceived something like a sandpiper as a threat? What’s an Uppie going to do to a kingbird?? Same goes for the miffed Field Sparrow. I’m not sure what that meadowlark would have done to upset it to the degree of being chased.

Has anyone else witnessed such unusual interactions? What would be the reasoning behind them? And again, I know many species are territorial in the breeding season, but some perceived threats do not warrant the harassment, in my opinion. Thanks for sharing your stories (in advance)!

Alyssa DeRubeis
Fayetteville, Washington Co.
 
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