Goshawk hunting

April 17, 2013 • 10:58 am

This wonderful slow-motion footage of a goshawk hunting fake prey was my present from Matthew Cobb on the occasion of our 20,000,000th view.

Some of the footage was taken at 5,000 frames per second (!), and they have the bird attack a water balloon to see how its talons work.

I’m not sure which species of goshawk this is, but I’m absolutely sure that at least one reader will identify it.

13 thoughts on “Goshawk hunting

  1. Love the way the ripples on the surface of the balloon become imprinted on the spray pattern of the droplets.

  2. When we were teenagers my pal took a wild red-tailed hawk chick (I know, I know, not good…) and raised it out of his suburban home.

    We used to fly the hock in a big church lot behind his home. The Hawk would often perch on the top of the church steeple. My friend wore thick builder’s gloves, held chicken meat, blew a whistle and the hawk would race down and absolutely slam into his hand “Wham!” and grab the chicken. I always thought “lucky he’s wearing the glove.”

    One day he takes off the glove, holds the chicken in his bare hands, and blows the whistle. I was think he was crazy to try. The hawk raced down toward his hand at it’s usual rocket speed but just before, it “puts the breaks on” and landed gently on my pal’s wrist and took the chicken out of his hand. And it was consistent: glove on the hawk would come in hard; glove off, it landed much more gently on his hand/wrist.

    Whatever it says about the intelligence of a hawk, I always found that amazing.


  3. In the above video clip LLoyd Buck identifies “Ellie” as a Northern Goshawk. That would be species Accipiter gentilis of which there are ten subspecies listed in Wiki. I’ve no idea which sub-species Ellie is.

    I thought “gentilis” an interesting choice of name thinking it was perhaps Latin for “gentle”, but I’m fairly sure the meaning is “Tribe” as in Gentile!

    The page on Lloyd & Rose Buck’s site that features Ellie:-

    THIS is her flying through a forest

    And through progressively smaller holes in a TV studio

    1. I urge everyone to watch the forest flying sequence in my above comment. Spectacular! I have an idea this has been on WEIT before somewhere.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *