Sunday, February 06, 2005
I recently found this pile of crawdad claws and bits of shell. (Or crawfish or crayfish, depending on where you live.) I suspect that it's the remains of a red-shouldered hawk's dinner. I've seen them catching crawdads before at Lake Purdy, and just the other day I saw one swooping down to go SPLAT into the water at the pond's edge, catching something small in his talons.
I'm not sure if the hawk opens the shell and eats the good parts, or if he swallows it whole and then regurgitates the shell. (If you know please tell me.) I spread these out a little bit for the picture.
Red-tailed hawks eat crawdads too, but I don't think it's as much a part of their diet as it is for the red-shoulders.
By the way, most of the time on TV when you hear the majestic cry of the bald eagle... it's actually a red-tailed hawk. Bald eagles don't sound impressive enough I guess, so sound editors often make the substitution, figuring that most people won't know the difference. Go here to hear what bald eagles really sound like.