On June 29, I got a phone call from Anna saying she was worried about our local Red-tail chicks. They were perfectly capable of flight, but last night both chicks were on the ground together (shrieking for food of course). But this morning, they were both still on the ground in the same location, but one had been decapitated and the other was was shrieking for food. I wasn't sure there was anything we could do, but it was worth checking out.
When I got there, well, it wasn't shrieking for food any more.
It was eating its sibling.
At first, Anna and I took some photos from a distance, and then we'd use tombstones as a blind, getting closer and closer.
But it didn't seem at all bothered by our presence.
Even as we got closer and closer
This is not an optical illusion - the young hawk just sat there three or four feet away.
Every once in a while it would scream a couple of times, but it seemed much more interested in eating.
I came back later that afternoon, and this was all that was left of the sibling. The other chick had moved the carcass about 10 feet, and was sitting on the other side of the tree.
It was interested in something . . .
In fact, it was sitting on a fat squirrel.
Oddly enough, while it tolerated extremely close approach when it was eating the other Red-tail, it mantled the squirrel when I got close.
The next day, there was no sign of yesterday's squirrel, but the youngster was tearing apart a squirrel. Perhaps, yesterday being full of sibling it didn't need the food (although it evidently wanted it for future consumption), and that became today's food.