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HOW SMART IS A HAWK?


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I just saw something pretty remarkable.  It is hot (107 F) here this afternoon and with flood irrigation surrounding us, the humidity is quite high. 

I went out to check on my wife's llamas just a few minutes ago.  I watched a female Red Shouldered Hawk swoop down in the field and grab a pocket gopher.  She flew directly to the nearest water trough, where she braced herself across the corner with one wing, and thrust the rodent under water, holding it there for several minutes. 

 

Use of tools is generally considered to be a pretty advanced animal behavior attributed mainly to Primates.  This seems pretty close to use of a tool by this intelligent bird.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Buckshot Bear said:

Wow...are they known to do this? 

I've never heard of it before.  But these gorgeous hawks frequent riparian areas where surface water is available.  So I would suppose they could instinctively take their prey there for whatever reason.  It then seems like a small logic step to discover that the prey can be drowned. 

 

----But that is still pretty advanced intellect and learning capability.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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They along with Eagles, Crows and Magpies can learn to recognise cars my dad and I used to shoot an average of 10,000 gophers from one Ranch. We always drove  the same vehicle they would follow us to the ranch sometimes from as far as 5 miles away ...

 

Jabez Cowboy 

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6 minutes ago, Jabez Cowboy,SASS # 50129 said:

They along with Eagles, Crows and Magpies can learn to recognise cars my dad and I used to shoot an average of 10,000 gophers from one Ranch. We always drove  the same vehicle they would follow us to the ranch sometimes from as far as 5 miles away ...

 

Jabez Cowboy 

 

 

      ....... meals on wheels ......   ^_^

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Posted (edited)

I often have pairs of Red Shouldered Hawks fly very low along my pecan orchard rows, landing  tree to tree above my tractor while I am mowing the understory grass and weeds.  They grab mice, frogs, lizards and insects stirred up by the mower. They predictably show up immediately when I start up the tractor engine.   

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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1 hour ago, Rip Snorter said:

The frequent sighting of a Hawk with a snake in its talons is one I most enjoy!

I've seen Redtails carry a big, wriggling rattlesnake, circling to great height, then drop the snake to the ground and follow it down, grab the limp reptile and fly off to their waiting chicks.  

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I have watched hawks grab rabbits then take them high in the sky, drop them and swoop down to grab their now dead prey and fly off. 
A couple of times I have heard the rabbits scream. A recording of that played over a PA system would scare the living hell out of people. :lol:
 

I used to feed the crows in my neighborhood peanuts in the shell. I mostly did it for selfish reasons. Crows keep pigeons away. I flippin’ hate pigeons. It also annoyed the heck out of a few of my butthead neighbors, second bonus. 
Anyway, some these crows would show up in my yard 2-3 minutes ahead of me getting home from work, according to my neighbor across the street who loved the daily crow spectacle. Others would “escort” me in, flying over and around me on my bike or in my car as I drove through the neighborhood. 
 

PS, don’t tell TN. ;)

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On 6/27/2022 at 6:24 AM, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

I have watched hawks grab rabbits then take them high in the sky, drop them and swoop down to grab their now dead prey and fly off. 
A couple of times I have heard the rabbits scream. A recording of that played over a PA system would scare the living hell out of people. :lol:
 

I used to feed the crows in my neighborhood peanuts in the shell. I mostly did it for selfish reasons. Crows keep pigeons away. I flippin’ hate pigeons. It also annoyed the heck out of a few of my butthead neighbors, second bonus. 
Anyway, some these crows would show up in my yard 2-3 minutes ahead of me getting home from work, according to my neighbor across the street who loved the daily crow spectacle. Others would “escort” me in, flying over and around me on my bike or in my car as I drove through the neighborhood. 
 

PS, don’t tell TN. ;)

But he has been wondering where all of those peanut shells in the front yard came from for months!:rolleyes:

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In Australia, Black Kites, Whistling Kites, and Brown Falcons, collectively known as Firehawks, have been observed to pick up burning branches from brush fires or even campfires, and drop them into dry grass to start fires to drive small game out where they can nab them.

Magpies and crows have been videoed carrying a bottlecap or other small lid to the peak of a snow covered roof in the winter, sledding down to the eaves, picking up their sled, flying back to the top, and doing it again and again and again.

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12 hours ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

In Australia, Black Kites, Whistling Kites, and Brown Falcons, collectively known as Firehawks, have been observed to pick up burning branches from brush fires or even campfires, and drop them into dry grass to start fires to drive small game out where they can nab them.

Magpies and crows have been videoed carrying a bottlecap or other small lid to the peak of a snow covered roof in the winter, sledding down to the eaves, picking up their sled, flying back to the top, and doing it again and again and again.

Yup. The hardware store here sells magpie sleds, earmuffs, and skis. They won’t sell to crows. Nobody likes crows. :lol:

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16 hours ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

In Australia, Black Kites, Whistling Kites, and Brown Falcons, collectively known as Firehawks, have been observed to pick up burning branches from brush fires or even campfires, and drop them into dry grass to start fires to drive small game out where they can nab them.

Magpies and crows have been videoed carrying a bottlecap or other small lid to the peak of a snow covered roof in the winter, sledding down to the eaves, picking up their sled, flying back to the top, and doing it again and again and again.

 

 

   ..... they do ??? :huh:

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30 minutes ago, Wallaby Jack, SASS #44062 said:

 

 

   ..... they do ??? :huh:

https://altoona.psu.edu/feature/birds-fire#:~:text=Only relatively recently have Westerners,to make food collection easier.

 

 

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