Red-tailed Hawk with Fresh Catch
Red-tailed hawks are impressive predators, consuming large numbers of mice, voles, rats and cottontails. Occasionally birds and snakes are also eaten. This particular red-tail had just caught a common gartersnake (the hawk looks like it is holding on to a stick, but trust me, it is very much a living reptile) when it perched on a white pine in order to get a better grip before flying off, perhaps to recently-hatched nestlings. A typical red-tailed hawk is about 19” in length, if that helps you estimate the size of the gartersnake.