Do they ever lose they battle? Do they get killed often by the prey? Obviously a rabbit wouldnt be much of a threat, but snakes? And the you tube someone posted the other day had them going after crazy huge stuff, what all are they capable of killing?
They lose more than they win, usually. But, most of the time, that just means the prey escapes. Injuries happen. Squirrels have a nasty bite that has even been known to sever toes or tendons in the toes. Venomous snakes can be an issue, but it's pretty rare. Last year my hawk mugged another red tail and took his squirrel. She ended up with the squirrel and some puncture wounds on her upper leg.
MOST of the hawks commonly used in the US are reluctant to chase anything larger than a rabbit. Jackrabbits out west can weigh over 15lbs and it sometimes takes a lot of convincing to get some hawks to attempt them. It really depends on what kind of bird you're flying. For a Kestrel, a dove is huge prey. For a red tail, a swamp rabbit is big.
There are always exceptions. Hawks gain confidence from hunting with people who help them dispatch prey. Especially hawks that are captive bred. They'll sometimes attack dogs. I've heard stories of them killing turkeys, beavers, groundhogs, and even binding to deer, although obviously they didn't kill the deer. There is the famous youtube video of a golden eagle killing a deer. But, I think that's pretty rare, and it looks like a very small deer. Although, they will do it in the wild in some cases. And they do hunt wolves with them in mongolia.
But, you have to remember that a very large red tailed hawk weighs about 3 1/2 lbs. Average size is less than 3lbs. So, even a large cottontail rabbit can outweigh them. The largest eagle weighs less than 20lbs.
This post was edited on 10/25 at 6:33 am