Hawk snatches released mouse

Video link. Spoiler alert: "Whiskers" dies. No immediate way for me to know if this is a hoax or not, btw. (thanks, Joe Sabia!)



  1. I believe that was a shrew. Mouse with a long pointed nose.
    This is a hawk and a mouse. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCMl4Na3Ttc

  2. I also managed to kill a mouse once by trying to be nice.. caught a mouse that our cats had cornered, and trapped it in a bucket for overnight storage. Plan was to release it in a field at work the next morning, where we have a large prairie preserve.

    Poor little guy didn’t survive the night. I guess a night in a bucket was too stressful.

    I used to keep gerbils and I know for a fact a gerbil would have been able to survive something like that, so it wasn’t like I suffocated or starved him.

    1. It’s possible one of the cats already bit him or batted him across the room and caused some internal injury, which led to his death. Stress is also possible I guess, but cats I’ve had have liked to play catch and release with their prey until the prey can’t play anymore. Usually the cats seem disappointed at this point…

    2. I caught a mouse under a mesh wastepaper basket once. It seemed fine for about ten minutes, but then it freaked out, ran as fast as it could around the cage for a minute or so, then spontaneously expired. Turns out wild mice don’t tolerate captivity at all well; pet mice have to be raised in a cage from birth to avoid this occurring.

    3. Mice are kind of designed to die. As I had it explained to me, they can panic and expire. Saves them the horror of being eaten alive I guess. 

  3. This happened to a kind hearted friend of mine who nursed a squirrel back to life only to have it taken by a raptor immediately after release. It is hard not to laugh at such a thing. Life being so merciless. Better than crying.

    1. Yeah, that’s what we said to try to cheer up a friend who had her sun conure snatched from her shoulder when walking in her yard in a remote part of Hawaii by an ‘Io (Hawaiian hawk).  It was a cloudless day, and she lives in an old lava flow with almost no trees.  She heard nothing, and felt nothing except for the presence of her pet bird on her shoulder suddenly ending.  The only sound during the act was a faint muffled “whomp” sound from the feathers being struck by talons right next to her ear.  The little bird was bright enough that it might have been targeted from hundreds of yards away, so she never even noticed the predator bird as it approached from high and behind her.  Presumably, they know which is the business end of a human head and knew which way to approach the pair.

      The argument my wife and I presented her was that it could have been worse if the bird just died suddenly from an accident or her negligence.  This way, it quite likely provided a food source for baby hawks.  Not exactly what you want to hear in such a situation, but a bit comforting over time.

      1. Uh, what? Maybe it’s just the conure sitting behind me speaking, but I’m failing to imagine a time when I would be comforted by the thought “oh, at least he was nutritious.”

        I guess they see things differently in Hawaii.

          1. I think I’d tell my kids that li’l Bilbo was just being delivered to Beorn’s house by Gwaihir, who subsists entirely on tofu and gummi worms.  They’d buy that.

          2. “Not exactly what you want to hear in such a situation, but bit comforting over time.”

            Other than the missing article, he did say just that.

          3. I was mostly joking, but actually that line only reflects his perspective – that he *thinks* it would be a bit comforting over time. No description of her actual reaction.

        1. Hawaii is a land where even the worst offenses can be smoothed over by throwing the chaka. I mean, you’re in Hawaii, how bad can anything be, really?

  4. Hey, it definitely beats the mouse (or shrew) ending up rotting in the landfill due to being killed by a snap trap or poison bait and thrown out.

    1. Dunno.  I think I’d have to ask Prometheus if he’d really have preferred the gallows, or maybe lethal injection.

  5. That’s why you look for undergrowth when releasing. At least give the little guy a few minutes to recover from the shock of the outdoors.

    …Still probably going to starve or freeze to death anyway, but fighting chances and all that.

  6. (Prisoner released after a decade of detention at Guantánamo without charges.)
    (Drone strike)
    Nooo!  I’m a bad person!

    Note:  A detainee’s beard does not imply that he should be called “Whiskers.”

  7. Yet another personal testimonial — We live-trap mice at our home and release them on vacant land elsewhere. One day we pulled off the road by an artificial wetland to let one go, and he started bounding in a broad circle back toward the road. As I was thinking, “Uh oh, hope he doesnt get hit by a…” BAM! a hawk swooped down and scooped him up.
    “Why the hell would a human throw away a perfectly good mouse like that…”

  8. So this happened on campus earlier this week. That’s a Red Tail eating a rabbit it caught. It amused the heck out of me that it happened in front of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

    1. I and about 2 dozen other students at uni watched a hawk snatch up a squirrel, take it to the nearest branch and start digging in.

  9. That happened to a rodent of my acquaintance.  Red squirrels invaded and tore up my garage attic.  While I was tearing out chewed-up fascia boards on the outside of the house one of them ran out of the hole.  It dashed across the yard and stopped to look back at me.  At that moment one of our local Cooper’s hawks swooped down and picked him off.  I was watching from a ladder & saw the whole thing.  I was dumbfounded.  I knew the hawk was around because the pigeons had scrammed.  But I didn’t expect him to make an appearance and defeat my home invader for me.

    ETA: I’m pretty sure I’ve told that story here before at least twice.

  10. I tried to save a mouse once, when I caught my cat playing with it. The cat just looked at me with contempt, crushed the mouse with one crunch of its jaws, and walked away. Leaving me with the corpse.

    1. I tried to get a tiny gecko off a piece of packing tape once. Eventually I realized that it would be better to just stick it in the freezer than to spend ten minutes slowly breaking its bones.

  11. Just this morning I saw a mouse running down a sidewalk, along the edge of the buildings, then run under a couple parked cars and hop into a wheel.

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