Hawk With Next Level Hunting Skills Triumphs Over Groundhog

Written by Kirstin Opal
Published: August 31, 2022
© iStock.com/Dafydd_ap_W
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Most hawks hunt by swooping above wide-open spaces while keeping an eye out for unwary prey creatures below. Some will pick a quiet vantage point at the edge of a pasture and then fly down at precisely the correct time. Hawks can even be trained to grab their prey by swerving and navigating through trees when chasing birds. 

Several people believe that all hawks are fundamentally the same, but these birds of prey actually vary in a variety of sizes and forms that are specifically intended to pursue prey ranging in size from insects to full-grown rabbits! 

A video surfaced of one groundhog going toe-to-toe with one of these skilled birds. As the groundhog minds his own business, a hawk walks stealthily behind him like a stalker. When watching the footage, you’re able to clearly distinguish the size difference between the two animals.

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A typical groundhog weighs 5 to 10 pounds and is 16 to 20 inches in length. Typically, the tail measures 4 to 7 inches long. Fur covers the tail and the entire body. Despite having similar appearances, male and female groundhogs may differ in size. 

According to our page about hawk-sizing, “On average, a red-tailed hawk’s wingspan is between 3 foot 7 inches and 4 foot 7 inches. They can weigh up to 3.5 pounds and measure a little over two feet tall.” 

Takeaway Dinner 

The second the groundhog turns its back, the hawk quickly swoops in and grabs the little critter with his talons. It appears that the ground hog was just a baby, hence why it wasn’t as aware of its surroundings. Groundhogs are known to be territorial, which makes you curious about where the parents are during this encounter.

The phrase “hawk-eyed” is a fantastic illustration of how perfect a hawk’s vision is. They do have additional abilities that help with hunting. Nothing, however, can match their vision, which enables them to see an ant from a tree. Hawks only hunt during daylight hours because they are diurnal birds. Contrary to other nocturnal birds like owls, hawks lack night vision despite having keen eyesight.

If you’re worried about these birds scooping up one of your pets, there are things you can do. Considering that hawks are protected by law in many areas, shooting or otherwise harming one might not be a good idea. To capture them and hold them in captivity, you will require a license. 

Due to their size, hawks are afraid of other raptors like owls and eagles. When a hawk sees an owl or an eagle, it will leave the area right away. You can keep real owls and eagles out of your backyards by using fake ones.

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The Featured Image

harris hawk in flight toward camera
The Harris hawk is easily identifiable by its beautiful coloring.
© iStock.com/Dafydd_ap_W

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, her 14-year-old dog, or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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