Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our (Un)Friendly Backyard Coopers Hawk

Isn't this a beautiful bird? We have noticed this lovely creature in our backyard for several weeks now. He sits up in the trees, and sometimes, on the fence (we have a 6 foot high wooden fence). He's absolutely magnificent. And then when he does a low flyover of the backyard, we kind of just hold our breath and watch him... he is glorious.
So, fast forward just a bit. We've noticed, over the past couple of weeks, that the bird "traffic" at our bird feeder has dwindled to practically nothing. (I know... you guys are already putting 2 and 2 together... )
Anyway, Hubster assumed the birdseed he bought was inferior, so he went to some high-falutin' birdwatcher store and came home with this ridiculously overpriced stuff (that has dried CRANBERRIES in it, among other things), and fills up the feeder, and then (because he's such a softie), sprinkles some on the ground for the chipmunks, squirrels, and other woodland creatures that come out from the woods to dine.
Still, not much traffic. QUITE the mystery.
So, the other day we come out on the porch JUST IN TIME to see our (un)friendly neighborhood hawk come THIS close to taking out a dove (a DOVE!) who was naively dining at the bird feeder.
Hmmm. I believe the mystery is solved folks. (Nancy Drew has arrived.)
But I also feel really sad. I wonder how many cute little chipmunks have met a violent death in the talons and beak of our backyard hawk.
As Hubster wisely surmised: "That hawk wasn't just hanging out on the fence... He was READING THE MENU!"


Suzanne said...

Yes, you had a hand in their early demise. This is sad.
But hey, the hawk has to eat too. But this is right up there with so called "hunters" who put out a salt lick and sit in a tree and wait for the deer to come.
I have a funny story about hawks too that has been on my mind, I will blog about it on the family blog when I get that going. I have to save that family freindly stuff for there....

Anonymous said...

That is so sad! At first, I was like, "how cool. A hawk in the yard!". And then I continued to read...

How sweet that your husband tries to help out the other little critters!


HappyWifeHappyLife said...

You should have seen this food, Bella... it had regular birdseed, sunflower kernels, dried corn, dried cranberries, and all sorts of other stuff. I considered (briefly) having some as a snack!

Yes, the chipmunks and the squirrels love it too.

And I'm sure the hawk does as well, because it brings out the "full menu" for his viewing (and dining) enjoyment!

Such is life.

Louise said...

We have a hawk that shows up from time to time, but it hasn't driven the birds away for good. I've never seen it catch anything, though I've seen it give a good effort. If on the birds were as wary of my CAT as they are the hawks!