Is this a usual goshawk feeding pattern?

Yesterday I saw a goshawk eating a downed pigeon in my back yard in Kent. I left it in peace to get on with its meal, and when it had gone I waited long enough that I didn't think it was coming back any time soon, and then went to tidy up the mess. I was surprised to find the head completely gone, and the breast only partly eaten. I would have expected it to eat all the breast. Is this normal for a goshawk, or does that sound as though it was frightened off (e.g. by my neighbour's cat?) before it had finished its meal?

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  • JimZ
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    My brother has a good video of a peregrine falcon biting off the head of a dove but it didn't eat it, just bit it off.  I think that is pretty typical.  A goshawk is able to eat pretty good chunk and I think it could swallow the head without much problem.  I'd think a goshawk would eat more typically but maybe pickings were good and it was just eating its favorite parts.  A goshawk is a badass and a cat might wish he didn't interfere with a meal. A person also might have scared it without even seeing the hawk.  

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  • 1 month ago

    They eat the parts they like first, meat on the chest is pretty much all the meat ON a small bird. I'm a little surprised about the head (are you sure the cat didn't eat that?)

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Sometimes a predator will only eat part of its meal if it had eaten recently and was not very hungry. Of course the possibility that it was scared away is likely. I once stumbled upon a bobcat that had just killed a tree squirrel in a regional park. The bobcat dropped the squirrel and ran away. I then left the area and when I came back several hours later, the dead squirrel was still there, uneaten. A pigeon is also a pretty big bird, compared to, say, a sparrow or other small song birds. A bird certainly cannot afford to be so full that it would have trouble flying, because then it will become a sitting duck and won't be able to escape predators on the ground. In fact, hawks usually carry their prey up into the trees before eating. If the prey is too heavy to fly away with, then it will eat the prey on the ground. If it is too heavy to fly away with the prey, then it would be too heavy for the bird to take off it it has almost the same amount of weight in its stomach.

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  • Dale-E
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Inside the skull of its pigeon is a secret delicacy. It will likely be eating that or  sharing that to impress its significant other hawk. Good that you noticed, but what's the harm in leaving it out for a day or two? It might be hoping it will grow worms or become a treasure for its mate to consume.

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