Prospect Park Red-tailed Hawk eating a squirrel - January 13th, 2013


A friend and I happened upon this Red-tailed Hawk eating a squirrel as we were walking by Brooklyn's Prospect Park on January 13th, 2013.  

It was pretty hilarious that I stumbled on this Hawk not five minutes after reaching this park. 

The chorus of squirrels giving their Hawk warning cry in nearby trees tipped me off to the presence of the Hawk. I stopped in my tracks and looked up and all around but I could not see the Hawk the squirrels were carrying on about. I was looking in the trees and nearby building tops.

My friend spotted the Hawk on the ground right in front of us, already eating. The squirrel looked like it had been dead a while (rigor mortis seemed to have set in or it was at least a day old). Perhaps the body was leftovers the Hawk had stashed in advance (common practice for Hawks).

The Hawk could not be seen from the sidewalk unless you were standing right at the stone fence lining the park. This distance from the sidewalk was good in that it provided the Hawk enough cover to eat in relative peace.

At one point a runner passed the Hawk, completely unaware of its presence.

You can hear the squirrels sounding their alarm calls throughout the video.

I only had a more simple point and shoot camera with me at the time but thank goodness I did or else I would have missed the chance to record and share this footage.