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Necking: Plucked but unharmed

Recently, the website of the Danks Ornitologisk Forening (the Danish Ornithological Society) posted a remarkable photo-story of a peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and its prey, a gull, documented by photographer Christine Raaschou-Nielsen and written down (in perfect Danish) by Jan Skriver:

Pludselig stak vandrefalken af, og s? dukkede en musv?ge op. Nu troede jeg, at musv?gen ville tage over, men det gjorde den ikke. Den fl?j hen og satte sig i et l?b?lte, mens falken kredsede og snart forsvandt. Da var det, at m?gen som jeg for l?ngst troede var d?d, rejste sig og vaklede af sted p? marken. Den gylpede og havde vejrtr?kningsproblemer, men den levede alts?, ?.

The falcon is plucking its unfortunate prey ? a common gull (Larus canus) ? taking care of the neck first. Then a buzzard (Buteo buteo) shows up and chases-off the falcon, who leaves its prey behind. What follows is the remarkable revival of the gull. The brave bird gets up, stands fiercely on its feet and looks unharmed, … except for some missing feathers.

Thanks to ecologist Mark Grutters for bringing this to my attention.

Improbable Research