A question about behavior.
This morning I saw a Red-tailed Hawk under attack by a Kestrel. It was an odd show since the red-tail is several times larger. The Kestrel hounded the red-tail relentlesly. When perched the red-tail would just cower and duck as the Kestrel swooped down on it, circled nimbly, and dived at it, again and again. The red-tail finally fled, with the Kestrel in hot pursuit. The Kestrel chased and continued to harrass the red-tail closely across a great distance, until both were out of sight. An hour later I returned to the spot where I had first seen them, and the red-tail was perched right where he had been originally, and the Kestrel was attacking him just like before.
I realize you can't read birds minds, but can you shed any light on what was going on. I wonder:
Might the Kestrel have been trying to keep the Red-tail away from its nest?
Why wouldn't the much larger red-tail attack back?
Or if it wasn't going to fight, why return?
PS: Apart from the drama, the acrobatic flying of the Kestrel was really something to see as he, very literally, fly circles around the bigger hawk.