Pictured: The tiny kingbird that took a piggyback on a predatory hawk and lived to tell the tale

How far would you go to get rid of an unwelcome visitor?

This is the moment a tiny kingbird decided it was time to see off a potential predator circling his home.

In a bold move, the aggressive little bird launched itself at the fearsome red-tailed hawk and sank its talons into the larger bird's back.

Enlarge   Tiny kingbird driving off a red-tailed hawk

Time you were going: The red-tailed hawk shrieks in pain as the brave kingbird sinks its talons in

The feisty kingbird attacked the hawk as it ventured too near its nest, dive-bombing it relentlessly, before jumping on for a piggyback, clinging to it as it soared through the air.

It enjoyed the ride for a few seconds before resuming the attack, pecking the hawk's head in fury.

The hawk, which is typically up to 50 times bigger than the kingbird, was powerless to shake its rider off and shrieked until it finally flew away to look for easier pickings elsewhere.

The incredible moment was captured by amateur photographer Pat Gaines, 41, at Bonny Lake park in Colorado, United States.

Enlarge   Tiny kingbird driving off a red-tailed hawk

Enjoy the ride: The kingbird clings on for a piggyback as the hawk tries to shake off its attacker

Pat, who lives in Denver, Colorado, said: 'I've never seen red tail hawks harassed so much - the hawks I saw were constantly being chased by a variety of smaller birds.

'This kingbird perched between the wings on the hawk's back for several seconds, and pecked at its head as the hawk flew away screaming.

'Red tail hawks are known for their piercing, iconic scream and the hawks I heard at Bonny Lake sounded hoarse - like they were all screamed out.

'It is common to see smaller, faster birds dive-bombing and harassing hawks, but this is the first time I've seen one ridden bareback.'

A member of the flycatcher family, the kingbird is known for defending its nest area very aggressively, pluckily driving off unwanted intruders, including hawks.

'Interestingly, their genus name is Tyrannus, which also may refer to this type of behaviour.' said Pat.

'Western kingbirds weigh about 1.3-1.6 oz, whereas red tail hawks are about two to four pounds, so the little kingbird is beating up on a hawk that is about 20 to 50 times its size.'

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