Researchers used high-speed cameras to observe the flight trajectories of hawks as they flew toward a manmade target that moved erratically. The scientists analyzed the trajectories and reported in Nature Communications on June 11 that the hawks navigate to the target in a way that is similar to homing missiles. This kind of flight “promotes tail-chasing and is not thrown off by erratic manoeuvres” and fits the hawk’s hunting style of chasing agile prey through cluttered environments, the authors write.
C.H. Brighton, G.K. Taylor, “Hawks steer attacks using a guidance system tuned for close pursuit of erratically manoeuvring targets,” Nat Commun, doi:10.1038/s41467-019-10454-z, 2019.