The attack took place in broad daylight and on the side of the street — on top of a car, in fact. And although the bystanders did not call 911, they did use their phones to take pictures! Even more amazing, the killer posed for them while standing over his victim. This happened on 8th St. between Chestnut and Market in Philadelphia. The killer was a red-tailed hawk. The victim, a pigeon. Luckily one of the spectators had a video camera and posted a really clear clip of the hawk standing over his lunch and acting unperturbed by all of the close-up attention.
This is an amazing scene but seeing raptors in Center City Philadelphia has become almost commonplace. Their are two kinds I’ve seen myself: red-tail hawks, Cooper’s hawk (in my own back yard and in Rittenhouse Square). There are also peregrine falcons – which sometimes even attack the hawks (see clip below).
Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer Inga Saffron reports on the raptor situation in Philadelphia (good article): City’s New Pastime: Talon Shows.
Young hawk rescued after falcon attack
Hawk in a tree (with colorful commentary)
Rodent bites the dust in Rittenhouse Square
Pigeon loses its head – literally
Another lunch break in Rittenhouse Square
I think this is great, the raptors help keep the rodent and pigeon populations in check; however, dog walkers are advised to keep their Yorkies and Chihuahuas on very short leashes.