When a Hawk Gets Eaten by a Raccoon
We live on the main street of a small town, but our back porch faces out onto a wooded hillside that’s about half a block wide and several blocks long. We don’t intentionally feed the raccoons, but we put out several kinds of bird seed, and the raccoons — as well as birds of all kinds and all sizes — all seem to like it.
We also have several parrots — indoor only! — whose room faces out onto the porch. Sometimes an owl or hawk will hover, or even swoop down and try to get one of those tasty parrots. The door and windows are always closed, so there’s no danger.
Last night, while my wife was in the room with the parrots, a hawk — presumably a sparrow hawk — swooped down, flew too close and bashed into the window. At that exact moment (I didn’t know about this at the time), I was in the kitchen, which also faces onto the porch. A raccoon was right outside the kitchen door, chowing down on some bird seed. Suddenly there was a crashing sound. That same hawk had crashed into our kitchen window and then hit the ground.
I don’t know whether the hawk was injured from crashing into a window (twice), or just momentarily stunned. In any case, the raccoon instantly morphed from this cute little cuddly thing eating bird seed — to a ruthlessly efficient killing machine. After a few seconds of clawing and biting the hawk, the raccoon picked up the corpse and scampered off with it.
I don’t know how clearly I’ve described the encounter, but it was absolutely riveting to watch — simultaneously horrifying and fascinating. It was a live up-close-and-personal version of all those wildlife programs where you see an eagle swooping down on its prey, or a lion stalking and killing a gazelle.