Watch four incredible attacks of a hawk on its prey. From one to the other these scenes of nature define the phrase “death from above”.
Four separate scenes of a hawk zeroing in on its prey. Four separate scenes of life and death. Slow motion camera work and music help make these hunting scenes as intense as you can imagine. Intense for both the hawk and its target.
The first scenario starts with the hawk launching itself from a snowy branch. Smoothly it sails through the snow filled air, with the beat of its wings controlling its descent, until it reverses itself at the last second and puts its taloned feet forward. Gripping a black bird in its claws, it’s amazing how the hawk manages to stay on top of the tumbling, chaotic mass of bodies colliding.
That’s a wonderment we’ll experience in every instance. How does the hawk manage to stay in control?
The next scene is perhaps the most impressive. A squirrel is the target this time. A squirrel climbing a slender tree. The hawk makes contact but the squirrel manages to twist away. It grabs at a branch and appears, just for a split second, to have escaped the raptor. But the bird is relentless, and dives immediately after the falling rodent. It grabs him, first with one claw and then with the other, and pulls him down with him to the ground.
If not for the slow motion, this drama, which lasted all of three feet and a second or two at most, would likely have flashed by too quickly to appreciate.
The final two scenes show the hawk attacking two larger birds: a pheasant and a duck on the water. The pheasant barely clears the ground in an escape attempt before the hawk, timing his collision perfectly, overwhelms the other bird. There is some brief ground fighting, but it is soon over.
We don’t know what happened with the duck. The film ends as the hawk hits the water, misses the duck and turns to continue its attack. Perhaps that’s just as well. Sometimes the hunter wins, sometimes the prey wins.