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What are you looking at?
Birds of prey can be cute when they’re young and helpless, but get up in a grown hawk’s business, and it’s likely to tell you to step the hell off.
“Say hi, baby. Come on!” pleads the cameraman in this Vine-length YouTube clip before resorting to kissy noises. Almost immediately exasperated with that patronizing tone, fit only for common housepets, the red-tailed raptor emits a banshee-level conversation-stopper. Roughly translated: “I swear to god I will pluck your eyes out the next time you fall asleep.”
Ornithologically astute sources indicate that this screech is often used to make a territorial claim—meaning this hawk’s “owner” may want to find a good real estate agent.
Update: Here’s the inevitable screeching hawk–screaming goat remix, courtesy of Reddit.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'