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.

--John Blakeman

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.


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