In this gruesome video, a duckling briefly escapes from the clutches of a red-tailed hawk before getting choke-slammed back into the water.
The video starts with a hawk standing on the neck of a young duckling in a ditch. The beautiful bird caws and tries to fly away with the duckling nestled in its talons.
However, the duckling makes a last-ditch effort at escape by wriggling out of the hawk’s grasp. The duckling makes a clean break—at least for a moment. After it escapes from the hawk, it starts swimming down the ditch in the opposite direction.
The hawk, determined not to lose its meal, takes stronger measures this time. It flies back toward the duckling and pounces on it hard, its talon screaming down and clutching the duckling. The video slows down to capture the brutal scene. The hawk holds the duckling underwater with its fierce grip. This time, it appears that the duckling won’t be getting away.
In the caption, the account explains a fun fact about the caw the red-tailed hawk lets out at the beginning of the clip. They explain that the fierce caw of the hawk outmatches the caw of the eagle, so in most early Hollywood productions featuring a bald eagle, the producers dubbed over the eagle caw with the red-tailed hawk caw. Apparently, studio producers didn’t want the bald eagle to sound non-threatening to people outside of America.
One user in the comments says they fact-checked the account, and it turns out they were right. Bald eagle caws sound much different than what we’ve seen and heard in movies.
“Omg you’re right! It sounds like a small toddler crying for attention,” one user wrote.
Either way, for the duckling—hawk or eagle—that caw surely sounded menacing.
Red-tailed Hawks Are Common Throughout North America
Red-tailed hawks are commonly found across the United States. These large raptors can sport up to a 50-inch wingspan. However, they’re not the largest hawk species in North America.
That distinction belongs to the ferruginous hawk. However, red-tails are not far behind as only the rough-legged hawk sits between them in size.
Red-tails are big enough to consider most other birds and a wide variety of mammals as prey. In fact, they’ll go after just about any animal close to their size—bigger or smaller.
Typical prey, however, includes rabbits, squirrels, and lots of songbirds. Red-tails typically try to use their girth to kill such prey on impact after swooping down at a high speed. They aim to be first-strike predators.
Either way, their incredibly sharp talons and beak perform plenty of damage to the prey they capture, like the duckling from the video above.