One recent afternoon two red tailed hawks that were looking for a meal created quite a ruckus outside the offices of Hilton Head Vacation Rentals on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The first sign of commotion came when about a half dozen crows in the trees began cawing and cooing like there was no tomorrow. A closer look revealed a hawk sitting in a nearby tree. Crows have an extreme dislike of hawks, and, like many other species, crows will try and chase off any potential predators.
In a few moments it became clear why the hawk was content to sit in the tree and take the abuse from the crows. In the bushes a squirrel made the mistake of showing itself. As soon as the squirrel moved, the hawk immediately dived with its talons outstretched. An employee was walking by and his presence distracted the hawk’s attention for a split second which probably saved the squirrel’s life. However, the squirrel was not out of harm’s way yet. Another hawk, presumably the mate of the first one, was apparently viewing the activity from another nearby tree and swooped in after seeing the squirrel run into another bush. This hawk landed on the bush and started shaking the leaves with its wings to try to flush the squirrel out.
The first hawk then began checking out the bush from below.
The squirrel eventually did dart out of the bush past the hawk and ran up a nearby tree. It found a hiding place in the tree and did not move. The hawks were left puzzled and frustrated that they had missed out on such a nice meal.
The two disappointed and still hungry hawks were last seen flying off together.
(In case you are wondering if hawks have much success in catching squirrels at mealtime, we have included a photo taken by a member of our staff where another hawk was successful at turning “squirrel into hawk.” It’s all part of nature – of course many times more squirrels are taken by cars than by any natural predator.)