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Small Bird – Big Brushoff!

Red wing Blackbird sees Sand Hill Crane. Doesn't like it. (Mike Daniels, Townsquare Media)
Red wing Blackbird sees Sand Hill Crane. Doesn’t like it. (Mike Daniels, Townsquare Media)

It’s always the smaller dog that tries to take on the larger dog. And the same goes for the avian world.

At the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge near Stevensville, photographer Mike Daniels caught this “get off my corner” confrontation between a Red winged Blackbird and a much larger Sand Hill Crane.

Territorial disputes like this can happen daily somewhere in the Bitterroot Valley. And often, it’s the smaller birds chasing off the larger ones.

birds chase
The crane suddenly remembers a prior engagement. (Mike Daniels, Townsquare Media)

Luckily, there’s room for both at the Metcalf.

birds conflict
The crane slowly moves off. (Mike Daniels, Townsquare Media)

But the little birds can be annoying.

birds dispute
Blackbird doesn’t think the crane is moving fast enough. (Mike Daniels, Townsquare Media)

Whew! Now there’s room to spread my wings!

red winged blackbird
Now, to get back on patrol. (Mike Daniels, Townsquare Media)

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