Fluffy stork chick is snatched from its mother’s nest by a hawk as the bird of prey scoops it up for a meal.
The footage – recorded by a wildlife camera in Polish woodlands – shows a brood of four stork chicks alone in their nest without their parents.
As the chicks, reportedly black storks (Ciconia nigra) – whose chicks are white – huddle together for protection a hawk swoops down swiftly but they duck to keep out of its way, letting out chirps of alarm.
Not deterred, the hawk strikes again and the young birds manage to keep out of its way again.
Finally, on the third pass, the hawk hits its target and scoops one of the chicks up in its deadly talons and flies away with it.
The gruesome scene was caught on a camera set up to monitor the stork family’s life in the Notecka Forest, in the Sierakow Forest District in north-western Poland, on the afternoon of Wednesday, 21st June.
Local foresters said: “There is no way to protect the storks against the hawk’s attacks.”
They added: “Such an event is part of nature, where there is a constant relationship between predators and prey every day. We have no say in these relations.”
Bird expert Sebastian Wrega told local media that hawks are “very efficient predators”.
But he explained that the local hawk population is decreasing.
He said: “In human terms, it’s a shame for the chick that becomes dinner, but the hawk also has its chicks that it needs to feed.”
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