Female Red-tailed Hawk Brings A Duckling to Its Chicks

/, Box Elder County, Red-tailed Hawks, Utah/Female Red-tailed Hawk Brings A Duckling to Its Chicks

Adult Red-tailed Hawk flying in with a ducklingAdult Red-tailed Hawk flying in with a duckling – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

A few days ago I saw an adult Red-tailed Hawk fly towards its nest with prey for its chicks, the prey was a duckling. There is a marshy area nearby and the female Red-tailed must have found the chick there, scooped it up and then took flight to bring it to its chicks.

Red-tailed Hawk chick taking duckling from adultRed-tailed Hawk chick taking duckling from adult – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

The largest looking chick in the nest seemed determined to grab the duckling from the adult’s talons and for a little while there was a bit of a tug of war before the adult released the duckling from its talons while the other two chicks looked on.

Red-tailed Hawk chick eating the ducklingRed-tailed Hawk chick eating the duckling – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

The Red-tailed Hawk chick did eventually swallow the duckling whole. The chick that it on the left tried to nibble on the duckling but didn’t succeed in taking it from its sibling.

What I couldn’t see was that there was also a mammal of some kind in the nest already and the adult Red-tailed Hawk tore it to bits later and fed it to the smallest chick on the left, it appears to be the youngest of the brood and still needs help eating.

It won’t be long before these Red-tailed Hawk chicks spread their wings, fledge and leave their nest. The first year is the toughest year for raptors and I wish them the best.

Life is good.

Mia

4 Comments

  1. Nicole June 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Fantastic photos!! It’s so amazing to see this group of raptors, I feel rich just being able to look at them! That leg stretch!! So funny!!

  2. Elephants Child June 25, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Glad that the smaller chick is still getting the support it needs.

  3. Patty Chadwick June 25, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Ducklings seem to be favored prey for so many other critters…turtle, coyotes, fox, wolves, bitrds of prey, even large fish and bullfrogs in some places…

  4. Bob mcphersons June 25, 2017 at 5:56 am

    Nature is what it is. . Beautiful photos, MiA.

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