Hawk Smashes Through Bedroom Window of California Home

by Shelby Scott
Photo by Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

A pair of California homeowners got the shock of a lifetime while making dinner earlier this month when a hawk, an animal known for its speed and agility, came crashing through their bedroom picture window. The bird had sent broken glass flying everywhere. Looking back, one homeowner was left wondering how the bird managed to crash with the glass in the first place.

Writing to The Mercury News‘s Joan Morris, the CA homeowner, Virginia Ludwig, shared that she believed the involved hawk to be of the sharp-skinned or Cooper’s variety. She explained these species most commonly visit her yard. Either way, at the time of the “invasion,” she had been too flustered to think about taking a picture.

According to National Geographic, the Cooper’s hawk reaches anywhere between 14 and 20 inches. It also boasts a wingspan of 29 to 37 inches. They typically weigh a little more than a pound.

Recalling the hawk’s crash, Ludwig wrote, “We had no luck getting through to animal control or Fish and Wildlife, as both were closed on Sunday. Fortunately, we have a sliding glass door in our bedroom, so my husband put on a sturdy hat and went to open it. As he did so, the hawk briefly lit on his shoulder and then soared outside.”

The experience was certainly unique, however, it left the bird watcher with a handful of questions. Speaking to Morris, she asked, “Why would a hawk crash through our window like that to begin with? It must have taken considerable force for him to leave such a gaping hole in the window.”

How a Hawk Hunt Turned to a Panicked Escape:

Unfortunately, neither Ludwig nor Morris saw exactly what happened before the hawk careened through the bedroom window. However, Morris offered a handful of suggestions as to how the hawk came to be there in the first place.

Per her account, Cooper’s hawks are known for “aerial gymnastics” while hunting, making this variety likely responsible for the crash. However, regardless of what type of hawk actually penetrated the picture window, Morris suggests it was more than likely hunting.

“Hawks are masters at chasing other birds,” she wrote, “and can get so focused on grabbing dinner, that they lose track of where they are.” She claimed the animal that the destructive hawk had been pursuing had probably been purposely bobbing and weaving in and out of tree limbs trying to lose its tail, nearing the window in an effort to disengage the hawk. Unfortunately for the hunter, things didn’t end quite so simply.

Another reason why the bird may have crashed is because it could have been a juvenile. Just like humans, juvenile birds are still learning their environment and the best way to hunt. So it makes sense that a younger predatory bird would appear clumsier than a mature one.