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Monday, January 27, 2014

Pope Francis' Doves of Peace Attacked by Gull and Crow at Vatican

Source The Mirror 
Source: The Mirror 
Source: The Independent
Pope Francis and two children, a boy and a girl, released two white doves of peace in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday, January 26th, 2014.

The doves were immediately attacked. Photos show what appear to be a hooded crow and a yellow-legged gull.

I'm shocked by these photos. I've never seen a crow or a gull attack a song bird in flight and attempt to eat it. I've seen accipiters, a rapid species of hawk, do this. I've seen small birds "mob" or pester crows.

Compare an accipiter, with its talons and hooked beak, to a gull with its webbed feet and heavy beak. You can see that the accipiter is built to kill other birds in flight, while the gull is not.

I talked about this with other birdwatchers, and they say that it happens, but I've never seen it.

Robert Spencer reads this as an omen here. I think he's reading too much into the event.

Two accipiters, a sharp shinned hawk and a Cooper's hawk, face off and show off their talons.
Photo by Jay MacGowan.

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