Crested Goshawk hunting squirrel

posted in: Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors | 1

Samson Tan was in Taipei’s Botanical Gardens, arriving at about 9am in April 2009 when he and Ling were greeted by a synchronous cacophony of cries. It was the squirrels’ distress cries, warning of the presence of a predator.

There was a Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) in their midst. Despite the warning calls, the goshawk managed to catch a squirrel from a tree (left). It flew off to another part of the garden with the squirrel tightly held in its talons (below left). There, perching quietly on a branch, it paused for the next 10-15 minutes, cautiously looking around (below right). Only then did it start dealing with its prey.

For the next 7-8 minutes the raptor tore off the fur from the squirrel with its powerful bill, “spitting” out bits and pieces of torn fur. After a further 5 minutes or so, only when the squirrel was devoid of fur did the goshawk start tearing into the carcass to feast on the parts (below).

This post appears courtesy of Samson Tan of Manta’s Experience…”.

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Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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