Blood hawks are fierce avian predators that hunt humans. Pack-oriented, and capable of leaving bleeding wounds that slowly kill their prey, blood hawks are patient, aggressive, and deadly to any traveling through their territory.
Alternate Encounter: Blood Hawk Flock
While the blood hawk as it exists in 4e serves admirably for an encounter with the creatures, it might not be necessary to break out the minis to have the party encounter some blood hawks. Below, it is presented in a more abstract, cinematic fashion:
The blood hawk flock that lives in the Bandit's Woods has made a sport of hunting both the bandits, and their erstwhile prey. This encounter begins as the party is traveling through a narrow forest path.
This encounter with Blood Hawks uses the following statistics: Phase HP: 45, AC 15, Fortitude 12, Reflex 14, Will 12, Attack +6, 1d6+5 damage. Resistance: Melee Attacks 5, Ranged Attacks 5. Vulnerability: Close Attacks 5, Area Attacks 5.
As with any cinematic encounter, the party takes turns with the enemy. After one side has a turn, the other has a chance to respond.
A Passive Perception (DC 16) notices hears a rustle in the bushes to the party's left. Those who hear it look, and see four rather large hawks, with dull grey feathers and bright orange beaks, barreling down on the party, looking to collide. A Nature check (DC 12) reveals them as blood hawks, predatory creatures that love the taste of human. Those who make this last check don't have time to tell the party instantly, but can on their turn.
Those meeting the Perception DC can roll initiative (DC 15). All other party members are surprised (granting Combat Advantage to the blood hawks). The character with the highest initiative that beats a 15 goes first. If no characters beat a 15, the Blood Hawks go first.
Phase I: First Blood (45 hp)
Blood Hawks: The blood hawks spend this phase swooping over the characters, attacking them. The blood hawks target humans first (or a creature they may mistake for human), followed by any lightly-armored characters. Once they find a target, they attack that target relentlessly, focusing their fire. They swoop low over the forest path, weaving expertly between the trees.
The blood hawks attack at +6 vs. AC, and deal 1d6+5 damage on a hit. On a hit, they also cause Ongoing 5 Damage (save ends).
If a party member falls unconscious, the hawks shift their attack to conscious party members, unless that unconscious party member is a human. If it is, the birds stop to feed, imposing a -2 penalty on the unconscious character's death saves. This feeding state lasts until they are hit by an attack, at which point they resume their attack.
The Party: They can attack the hawks in melee as they swoop overhead and around, or at range at any time. Targeting a hawk at range means taking a -2 penalty to your attack roll, due to the cover of the foliage in the forest.
They can also flee down the path, but this does little: the hawks follow. They are specifically interested in killing the party for their favorite food, humanoid, so other gambits (such as leaving rations, or attempting beast empathy) are likely to be unsuccessful. If the hawks can get a free meal of human, they will cease their attack, but they don't respond to coercion.
Phase II: Now, We Wait (45 hp)
Blood Hawks: After a few of their number have been cut down, the blood hawks suddenly break off their assault. A Perception check (DC 16) reveals that they are still present, and a Nature check (DC 12) reveals that they are waiting for the bleeding to kill the party. They resume the attack if no character is bleeding, but only long enough to inflict ongoing damage, and then they break it off again. The hawks keep pace with the party as it moves as well, making escape a difficult prospect. The hawks behave similarly to Phase I with respect to an unconscious character.
The Party: The party cannot make melee attacks against the hawks while they are waiting, but whenever they renew their attack, the next party member to act can make melee attacks as normal. Ranged attacks still suffer a -2 penalty due to the cover.
Phase III: All Together Now (45 hp)
Blood Hawks: As the party keeps picking off members of the flock, the last half-dozen or so birds make a desperate bid to get away with at least some food. They all attack the most vulnerable character at once, gaining a +2 bonus to their attack rolls for aiding each other, rolling 2 attacks at once, and inflicting Ongoing 7 damage (save ends) if both of them hit. After the attack, they split off into the forest, co-ordinating their next assault.
The Party: Because the blood hawks are more focused now, only the character who was attacked by them gets to make melee attacks against them, following the attack. Other characters still must make ranged attacks, though they don't take the -2 penalty, due to being able to wait for a good shot.
Finale (1 parcel, 500 XP)
Once Phase III HP is 0, the remaining 3 or so blood hawks break off the assault, fleeing, wounded, back to their nests. A character an track them with a DC 12 Nature check, but the birds will continually flee. If the party finds the nests, they uncover a treasure parcel's worth of gems, coins, jewelry, and even expensive fabrics that the blood hawks have decorated their nests with: trophies from their kills.