This years crop of fledgling raptors are now becoming accomplished killers. Although they still rely on the umbrella of protection their parents provide so they can perfect the art of hunting. I found a juvenile from St. John's in the Close last week.
This next week, I watched it snag a rat on the North side of the Great Hill. In fact, the same thing happened last year where after a few weeks, the parents led their young from their nursery in the Cathedral Close to the richer hunting grounds of Central Park.
In addition to perfecting killing, they are also learning how to eat the different kinds of prey. I watched amazed as this youngster bit off the rat's head, opened the carcass and then removed and discarded the stomach!
Amazing behavior that I had never witnessed in a juvenile before. They seem to just wolf it down most of the time. Needless to say, if Central Park had been using poison, this would have been the last rat this hawk ever ate.