Hawk Attacking Water Balloon at 4000FPS Makes for Some Incredible Footage

With the rise in popularity and drop in price of high speed cameras, more and more incredible footage is getting captured of events our human brain would otherwise be unable to see in such detail.

And today, we have yet another one of those events, the protagonist being a Goshawk and the victim being a water balloon baited with a piece of the soon-to-be-dinner that, we’ll be honest, never stood a chance.

Created and posted by Earth Unplugged, a YouTube channel used to help fund BBC programs, this quick look at the hunting ferocity of the “cheetah of the sky” is just a small snippet of footage captured from their full episode, “Goshawk Hunts in Slow Motion“.

While technical details are slim, from just looking at the videos, the high-speed camera in use looks to be a Photron FASTCAM model, coming in between 4000-5000FPS.

Technical details aside, being able to take such a detailed look at the speed and accuracy with which the Goshawk closes in and snaps at its prey is astounding. It’ll certainly make you think twice about walking around your backyard with a steak on your plate at BBQs this summer.

(via Gizmodo)

  • Spider- Man

    How pissed was that bird? “YES, YES, YES, FOOOOD!” :: pop :: “WTF!?!?!”

  • Bruce

    I hope we don’t hear that the bird died after ingesting rubber balloon material.

  • Gannon Burgett

    If you look close, there’s a piece of meat strung to the top of the balloon. He didn’t catch it in-air, but there was still food there. No trolling on set.

  • Dylan Vogel

    sorry, i grew up with Frightful, Goshawks have always been EVIL! in my mind.

  • Sarobar Kasaju

    Nice, I also see a piece of meat flying by the balloon.

  • Kaouthia

    Hardly meat, just a bit of chick leg. ;)

  • Kaouthia

    They’re more fun to watch chasing a duck or a pheasant tbh. :)

  • Will Mederski

    i swear petapixel is on a 48 hour delay from the rest of the internet…

  • Sean McCann


  • Mark

    More usage of animals for human amusement. Bleh.

  • superduckz

    Oh please… It’s hardly a Ringling brother zoo cattle prodding an elephant to balance on a ball (which makes me sick). The bird appears well treated and it’s doing what comes naturally. We (humans) are given a chance to genuinely appreciate it in a new way for the magnificent creature that it truly is. That appreciation leads to protection. Win win win.

  • Mark

    ‘Oh please’? Then on cue: roll out the justifications. As if we don’t have enough high-speed footage of birds of prey in their natural habitat. Just humans playing with new toys. I repeat, bleh.

  • Spider- Man

    these are the jokes people…

  • Chris Malmberg


  • superduckz

    Sadly there’s way too many lemon suckers on here than there should be.

  • superduckz

    Gosh you’re a bundle of self indignant joy. I’m not even sure what your point is. Are you sucking lemons because you are fundementally againsy animal captivity/training/breeding programs of any type of animal? People using those animals for non destructive study ? Are you disgusted by mankind’s hubris in keeping otherwise wild animals for sport/training/entertainment purposes? Is it that high speed photography is just soooooo… passe to you and makes you cringe (in which case what are you doing here) or are you just a dissatisfied scrooge of a human being… generally speaking?

  • Mark

    “Are you disgusted by mankind’s hubris in keeping otherwise wild animals for sport/training/entertainment purposes?”

    Is that not obvious?


    Anyone else annoyed at the Epson Ad’s on the bottom? Kinda ruins it.

  • James Smith

    My thought, too.

  • Anthony Harden

    That’s a YouTube thing. See that little ‘X’ in the upper right corner? Click it. Problem solved. :)

  • Military Master

    Not my thought. There have been birds around for years. Who cares if one bird dies? Not me. I’d rather all old people were dead too.