Hawk steals sandwich

I really like this video, as it recalls a similar incident that happened to me in India. In the very short video below, posted on “Twitch” (whatever that is), a hawk swoops in and, with unerring accuracy, nabs a girl’s sandwich. I watched it several times to see how it swooped in. Those things have awesome vision!

Similarly, once in some godforsaken small-town railway station in India, when I was waiting for a train, I bought a bun filled with some hot-pepper filling. As I stood on the platform eating it, a hawk simply snatched it from my hands. I hope it burned its tummy!  And once in St. Ives in England, I bought a pastie and was eating it by the shore when a seagull took it away from me. (Tourists are warned not to eat food in the open, but I didn’t see the sign.)

Well, animals deserve to eat, too—but not buns and pasties!



  1. Ken Pidcock
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    It’s said that if you look seagulls straight in the eye they won’t take your food. This observation is propagated by seagulls who find it a clever way to distract you.

    • JezGrove
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Very good! But eyeballing them does actually seem to save your chips.

  2. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Nice! We had a sandwich snatching malamute who was sneaky and quick, but not that quick!

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 4:04 am | Permalink

      At any sign of people enjoying a picnic we have to ensure our cairn terrier is on the leash or else risk an act of brazen piracy! It has only happened a couple of times (he’s now nearly ten) but the embarrassment when it did lives on long after the event!

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    What the hawk also has is great depth perception. The closing speed would demand it.

  4. BobTerrace
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I have had this happen to me with a seagull. It took it as I was raising the sandwich to my mouth. I have seen seagulls do it to others too.

  5. EdwardM
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    How they can do this at such speed and in such tight quarters is absolutely stunning (remove obvious embed deflector);


    • rickflick
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Understanding pavement installation? Good grief!

  6. boudiccadylis
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    As I understand birds cannot taste hot spice.

    • Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      This is correct and in fact as a way to keep squirrels out of suet feeders, many suet blocks are sold with lots of hot pepper flavor because the squirrels CAN taste it and they don’t like it while the birds are meh.

  7. Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! Its not like they can go to the fridge and haul out a snack but that’s just as good.

  8. Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Very cool. I suspect it is not accidental that the hawk approaches from behind the girl. I’m sure hawks often steal food from non-humans so they have it down.

  9. Mark R.
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Wow. “It took my fucking sandwich!” LOL! Obviously, with all the masks, this was a recent event. Everyone will always know the time-frame when photos/videos show people in masks.

    • rickflick
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      20 years from now, people will say things like, “Oh ya, before masks.” Or, this was during masks…

  10. Simon Hayward
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    My daughter lost a hot dog to a seagull in a similar way in San Francisco zoo when she was about two and a half – so an easier target for theft. The zoo were so used to these things that she got a new one for free. Birds learn how to make a living.

    • Sven van Leeuwen
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      I read “My daughter lost a DOG to a seagull in a similar way”.
      Happy to read it was a hot one!

  11. Jeffery Mehrens
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    High school is the Procrustean punishment parents inflict on teenagers. I dropped out as it was tedium personified. I had better things to do. If it wasn’t for my ACT score I likely never would have gotten into college. I now am a successful criminal defense attorney and an adjunct professor of philosophy at a community college. Thank the imaginary lord for standardized testing.

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 4:07 am | Permalink

      I think this comment has accidentally appeared in the wrong thread…

  12. Trevor W Adcock
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Birds are immune to capsaicin and that is theorized to be why it evolved as a defense in peppers. I’m surprised you don’t know that.

    • Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Well looky here: someone conveying information in a way designed to make me feel ashamed of my ignorance. I tell you what, Mr. Adcock, there are a lot of things that maybe I should know but I don’t. And I’m not ashamed of that. But you should be ashamed of your rudeness, or don’t you have any idea of how your words affect other people?

      Lord I’m tired of people who have to flaunt their superiority with little zingers like this.

      • Bilby
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        I thought they couldn’t TASTE capsaicin (no mouth burn) but still might be susceptible to stomach burn, at least from the very high scoville peppers.

  13. Laurance
    Posted May 27, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Years ago, decades ago, I had a white cat. My Sweetie was reclining on the couch eating chicken, had a big piece on his plate which was on his lap. The cat came up on the couch, begging. Sweetie tore off a cat-sized bite-sized piece and offered it.

    That cat quickly pushed his hand away and grabbed the entire piece of chicken off the plate.

    That was a long time ago. Now my Sweetie is an old man in our local nursing home. He’s forgotten a lot of things but he sure remembers the time the cat stole his chicken. He still likes to tell the story after all these years.

  14. Posted May 27, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    What an inspiring talk by Rosemary Grant! Thanks for pointing us to it.

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