Friday, December 17, 2010

Feeding the Birds

As you can see-I love to feed the birds. I feed them all summer as a matter of fact. (yes, I know they can find food-I just like to feed them!) In late spring I put out hummingbird feeders. In late fall I put out thistle in special tube feeders for yellow finches. And we always have quite a flock visiting us at breakfast, lunch and dinner. However..this year I am having a bit of a problem.
Can you see this guy hiding up in the tree? This hawk is huge! It almost looks like an eagle the wing span is so wide. I think (looking at my bird book) that this is a "Cooper's Hawk" which preys on backyard birds. At one time this bird was known as a "chicken hawk" for obvious reason. But, we don't think this is our problem..
We think this is the culprit--the one chasing our little friends away. This little one is much smaller than the other hawk. What we don't know is: is this a baby Cooper's Hawk, or could it be another kind? There is a "Sharp-shinned" hawk (again looking in my book) that is similar to the Cooper's but smaller..and according to the book hangs out at backyard feeders. I am not thrilled there are predators out there scaring my little birds friends away, but at the same time it has been very interesting to see these large birds. And yes, I do know this is part of nature, survival of the fittest, etc... The hawks are welcome-just wish they didn't want the diners as their dinner!

6 comments:

perennialgardener said...

Yep we get those type of Hawks in my area too. They do prey on birds and small rodents as well. It's the cycle of life, not pretty but necessary. Which reminds me I need to check my feeders and fill them again. :)

tina said...

Those hawks can be a problem. It is big! What I do here is put my feeders and/or feeding station under a tree-mostly an evergreen pine tree. If there are no clear areas even if the hawk can see the birds they generally stay above ground level. I've never had one land here. Maybe you could move the bird station to under the tree or anywhere that the birds can quickly find shelter from the hawk? Short of that you have to stop feeding until the hawk loses interest. I hope it goes away soonest. Happy Holidays to you!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Racquel--I wish the hawks would worry about the squirrels and leave the birds alone! :) We have to refill our feeders constantly because of all the squirrels robbing the feeders!

Tina, we have seen hawks from afar, but never close like this. Unfortunately we do not have any evergreen trees, but there is a holly the birds hide in. Saying that though--I watched the little hawk fly right down in that bush with me standing right there! Bold little thing! :)

Skeeter said...

We also feed the birds all year long. We enjoy nature up close and so do our cats, safely from the sun room windows that is...

Merry Christmas...

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

I like to feed them too, and it's the best way to get good photos.~~Dee

Msrobin said...

That's how I felt when the preying mantis showed up in my garden. They're supposed to be beneficial insects, but when he started eating my butterflies, I was NOT happy!