Part 4 of the Hawky New Year! video series shows us a first-year red-tailed hawk after catching a pigeon at the base of Bow Bridge in Central Park on Jan. 15. The hawk spent two hours with the prey, first standing on it and watching the spectators watching him, then plucking out all the feathers and having lunch. The video is pretty graphic, but interesting in that it covers the meal from catch until flight to a nearby tree to digest.
The hawk didn't seem all that perturbed at having a human audience for the meal, but some of the people behaved badly and a lot of energy was expended keeping them away from the hawk.
I originally had 60 minutes of video, but I've cut it down to 35. I made a 60-minute version, but the shorter version shows the most important moments so that's the one I've posted.
Hawks are nature at her rawest. These magnificent birds have evolved in a way that keeps the population of rodents and birds down. They are efficient hunters, and eat what they kill. I don't know how to explain my fascination with the red-tailed hawks, other than to show you these videos and the photos.
The last three photos below are of a second young red-tailed hawk who was hanging out in the Ramble.