In my experience shooting birds, the Northern Harrier seems to be more aggressive than Red-tailed Hawks, between the two species. On Oct. 14, 2015, at the Ridgefield NWR, I witnessed a mid-air encounter by these two birds, the harrier clearly being the aggressor. I’ve also seen other ‘attacks’ initiated by harriers over the years. On the other hand, I’ve seen hawks stand up to Bald Eagles, so it’s hard to understand why these scuffles even happen and what the outcome will be. At one point in the pictured chase, the birds came into contact with each other but this was happening quite a distance away and few frames were of sufficient quality to share.
Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1600, f4, ISO 500, 500mm, 12:29 p.m.