Red-shouldered hawks may have a taste for crabs

Researchers observed a red-shouldered hawk likely preying on a ghost crab for the first time in North America. ©Julie Larsen Maher/WCS

For the first time, scientists have reported a red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) appearing to prey on a ghost crab (Ocypode quadrata). This is the first time the birds have been reported going after any species of crab. Usually prefer to feed on mammals, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates like insects and crayfish. No other raptors in North America have been reported feeding on ghost crabs, either. The sighting occurred in 2016 when the hawk attacked and dismembered the ghost crab on a coastal beach in South Carolina.

Read more in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.