What starts out as some cute footage of a group of quails pinching some grass seeds from a woman’s backyard, almost turns into a horror show. At first, she tries to move the quail on and discourage them from eating her grass seeds so that her lawn can grow. Then, out of nowhere, a hawk swoops down to attack the quails. It all happens very fast! But if you freeze the video just after the attack you can see that the predator’s claws are empty. On this occasion, they have been unsuccessful.
All About Quails
Quail are adorable little birds with plump bodies and a distinctive call. They are found on all continents of the globe, except for Antarctica, and like to live in woodland and forest areas.
Their staple diet is plant seeds and they spend most of their time scratching at the soil with their feet to get at seeds and other plant material. Occasionally, they will treat themselves to a grasshopper or a worm. You will often find them doing this underneath shrubs, near foliage or on people’s lawns!
When they sense danger, they will either freeze and hope that they are not noticed or take off very quickly at speeds reaching up to 40 mph. This is necessary because the poor quail has a lot of predators. These include many small mammals such as raccoons and foxes but they are also hunted by domestic dogs and cats. Several species of birds also hunt quails and that includes owls and the hawks that we see in this video.
Hawks as Hunters
The term ‘hawk’ is a general name used to describe diurnal carnivorous birds. They are all in the Falconiformes order and are also sometimes referred to as raptors or buzzards. There are 270 different types and they have different characteristics. Nevertheless, they all have hooked beaks, sharp talons, and very good eyesight that is five times better than a human’s vision. All of which are essential for hunting. As we see in this vid, hawks strike from the sky with deadly speed and grab their prey before they have a chance to run away.
Hawks are very adaptable and live in lots of different climates so they are found all over the world except in Antarctica. All they need is shelter and a source of food – and they are not too picky about what they eat. Being opportunistic hunters, they will grab whatever is available. As well as smaller birds, they also snatch rodents such as gerbils, squirrels, voles, and chipmunks. Although they will also eat frogs, lizards, and even fish!
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