Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.

Hawk eats dead owl

Posted by: Jim Williams under Bird biology, Bird interactions Updated: February 8, 2012 - 8:48 AM

 Making one of my routine scans of backyard bird action yesterday, I found a Red-tailed Hawk at the back of our yard, at the edge of the woods, vigorously pulling feathers from something on the ground, and appearing to eat portions of it. Indeed, the hawk was lunching on a dead Barred Owl that it had found there. I watched it for about 45 minutes, taking photos from a second-floor window, my only vantage point. The hawk ripped the breast feathers from the owl, ate most of the breast, ate a good portion of the head, and ripped one wing from the carcass. When it had its fill, the Red-tail hopped onto a log, wiped its bill against the wood, left side, then right, and then full of owl and cleaned up, it flew off. The ragged remains of the owl is still there, enough for a small meal for someone. I'm waiting. In the photos, the gray feathers came from the breast of the owl. In the top photo a portion of the wing can be seen in beside the hawk.

 

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