Broad-winged hawk Part II: The hunt

Two of these hawks have been hunting round my bird feeder and squirrel tree. They swoop on the squirrels, and yesterday one caught either a red squirrel or a chipmunk, or perhaps a vole. I couldn’t see clearly, but it had something in its talons when it took off again from the thicket.

Here is the young predator, waiting and watching:

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They are woodland hunters, and this is their typical modus operandi, perching on a low branch concealed in the foliage, preparing to make a short glide down onto their prey.  Here he/she is, caught just after take-off swooping vertically down from the branch for the successful attack.

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My camera trap caught glimpses of another attack, this time a squirrel chase:

 

They eat small mammals , birds and insects. Squirrels are large prey for them, but this one certainly had its eyes on a large meal!

I was somewhat puzzled by the fact that one day there were two of them swooping around, pretty much doing a synchronized aerial ballet thing.  They didn’t seem to be competing , and given that one was a juvenile, I am guessing the other might have been its mother? Or maybe it was a prelude to migration, though I have seen one several times since.

I am lucky to have observed all this because they tend to avoid human dwellings. They only appear when I am alone, never when others are with me.

One thought on “Broad-winged hawk Part II: The hunt”

  1. The mother was probably training the young one.

    George

    On Sat, Sep 22, 2018 at 9:10 PM Eyes on the Wild wrote:

    > myip2014 posted: “Two of these hawks have been hunting round my bird > feeder and squirrel tree. They swoop on the squirrels, and yesterday one > caught either a red squirrel or a chipmunk, or perhaps a vole. I couldn’t > see clearly, but it had something in its talons when it t” >

    Like

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