Falcons are skilled aerial predators, hunting everything from small songbirds to rabbits and gophers. However, when presented with the opportunity, they will also nab some of our small human companions, including cats and dogs. The below clip sees the moment a tiny kitten finds itself in the lethal talons of a hunting falcon.
We do feel for the tiny kitten as we know exactly what its fate will be. But we’re also curious why the falcon hung nearby several filming humans rather than making off with its prey. After briefly observing his surroundings, the large bird makes like it’s going to fly off with the kitten. However, instead, it moves just feet away from the videographers, all the while keeping its hold on the tiny feline.
Some viewers demanded to know why the videographers sat back and let the hawk finish off the kitten. Others claimed that feral cat populations need to be maintained. And, as gruesome as it is, unleashing birds of prey on these rapidly growing groups is effective.
“Cats dead,” one viewer bluntly said of the falcon’s prey. “Just let em enjoy the meal.”
Another Instagram user came to the falcon’s defense, stating, “Everyone has to eat.”
A more empathetic person demanded, “Why are you just taping and not helping the cat???”
Truthfully, at that point, there was likely no rescuing it. The animal’s limp body suggests it really is already dead, not to mention there’s no prying those insanely sharp claws apart and forcing the falcon to part with its meal.
Falcon Shows Off Athletic Aerial Skill Sharing Prey with Offspring
If you’re looking for a slightly more tame falcon clip, say no more. Footage of another falcon encounter, this time featuring a peregrine and her juvenile offspring, sees the moment the mother passes off its prey to the baby, highlighting the bird of prey’s dynamic aerial talents. And a dramatic soundtrack makes the handoff feel even more spectacular.
Given that falcons are typically pretty protective over their meals, the handoff between peregrines is pretty interesting and definitely unusual to witness. However, according to the video’s caption, which features on the popular Instagram page Nature is Metal, this is a pretty typical tactic for mother peregrine falcons.
Per the post, this kind of handoff enables the mother to feed her young in a more efficient way. “Swapping food like this allows the adults to go back to doing what they do best,” the caption claimed. “Capturing prey with which to feed their young.”
In addition to being particularly skillful hunters, peregrine falcons are also the fastest bird on the planet, capable of traveling at speeds reaching nearly 200 miles per hour.