Nine years of playing Skyrim, and I had no idea you could shoot birds out of the sky

Hawk eye.

Skyrim is still teaching me things about how it works - nine years after it came out and after I've pumped hundreds of hours into it.

This time, it's the revelation you can shoot birds out of the sky with your bow and arrow.

Now, of course some of you - many of you, perhaps - will know this already. But I did not. And so when I stumbled across this clip by redditor shadysnore, who nailed a hawk after eight years of trying, I was astonished.

8 years later I've finally managed to hit a hawk from r/skyrim

Here we see a hawk sniped out of the sky with an arrow shot, then fall to earth with a thud for looting. Well, you learn something new every day.

The clip sparked my journey down the rabbit hole of birds in Skyrim. It turns out birds and butterflies in Bethesda's fantasy epic disappear when they detect any attack, and in that instant drop a container - in the case of the hawk, a hawk-shaped container with loot, or in the case of a butterfly, ingredients. I missed this at the time, but the 2011 video below shows a Skyrim player show off their bird-shooting skills. It's pretty impressive.

And here's a clip of a Skyrim player shooting a butterfly, which then turns into a butterfly wing - aka its ingredients - that drops to the ground.

I have also learned that the Dragon Shout Kyne's Peace - one I thought largely useless and so didn't use at all really - instantly knocks out birds, causing them to fall from the sky. This shout calms all wild animals, except frost trolls, within the range of approximately 100 paces. But for birds, it's an instant K.O.

So! Now I know what I'm doing during my next Skyrim run: bird killer. That's perfectly normal, right?

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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