Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Blakeman on Woodchucks as prey for Red-tails
Immature Pennsylvania Red-tail
Pennsylvania Woodchuck eats a green apple without much fear of a hawk circling above.
John Blakeman responds to my thought that a very young Groundhog might make a tasty Red-tail brunch.
No, even young woodchucks (groundhogs) are seldom taken by red-tails. That's because they have exceptionally tough skin, which was used for shoe laces at one time. A red-tail can sometimes grab a fleeing young woodchuck, but it can't sink its talons into any vital organ. Only larger eagles can pierce groundhog skin with any effectiveness.
So as opposed to my previous thought, young Groundhog might, if actually punctured, turn out to be a tough yet tasty brunch. And here I thought it was squirrels who had the difficult skin.
It isn't easy being an RT.