Red-tailed hawks eat squirrels but red-shouldered hawks, like this one, are a little too small to make squirrels a normal part of their diet. Perhaps this squirrel knew that.
A few years ago Steve Gosser saw an immature red-shouldered hawk perched quietly in his parents backyard. While he watched, a gray squirrel climbed the tree and made a beeline for the hawk. Did the squirrel want to challenge the hawk? Who would win?
When the squirrel got too close, the hawk puffed open his wings.
Hey! Back off!
The squirrel got the message and left the tree.
(photo by Steve Gosser)