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:
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.
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.