April 9, 2012

Predator

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Saturday afternoon, I opened the back door and saw this immature Copper's hawk eating its lunch in our tree.

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I couldn't make out what the hawk was eating. I hope it was a mouse or lizard and not a songbird.  I dreamed it ate a titmouse, but thank goodness, that was just a dream. There wasn't any evidence that the hawk caught its prey in our yard. Instead, I think it was attracted by the sparseness of our dying tree – the perfect place to alight for a meal.

(As an aside, our tree has been dying since before we moved in. It has been a long goodbye. Yet with all of the fascinating birds that have used this tree precisely because of its declining health, – woodpeckers, great horned owls and now the hawk – it's been a asset, even in its waning state.)

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When the hawk saw me looking at it, it hoped to a higher branch but stayed in the tree and watched me for a while.

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I was interested to see that while the hawk and I looked at each other, three starling sat in the same tree about 12 feet above the hawk. Ballsy if you ask me!

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Even more courageous was the blue jay who broke the silence of the other birds and screamed at the hawk to move on its way. I was surprised the hawk responded. All hail the hero blue jay.

13 comments:

  1. Hi,
    Such a nice picture i like it...

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  2. Nice catches! And I hope it wasn't a songbird either. I had a traumatic experience last year where a bunch of birds were at the feeder, and a hawk swooped in, chased, and caught a little bird. :(((((( I was all like, "OMG! I KILLED THAT BIRD BY LEAVING OUT THOSE FEEDERS! I SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING!"

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  3. We have a red-tailed hawk that likes to fly around our office building, so we get to watch him swooping around every once in a while. :)

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  4. Thanks for your appreciation! I feel very strongly about the plight of our native bees and hope that this blog will help people identify them and want to help save them by growing nectar-rich plants in their gardens.


    Garden centre Durham

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  5. hat's the nature balance, hawks as a predator will hunt thair foods.. I hope it's not a songbird either..

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  6. Great pix! We've only had one Coopers sighting and too many leaves in the way.

    Thanks for leaving a comment at Hill Country Mysteries. Nice to follow back and see your place.

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  7. There wasn't any evidence that the hawk caught its prey in our yard. Instead, I think it was attracted by the sparseness of our dying tree – the perfect place to alight for a meal.

    Garden centre in Bournemouth

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  8. That's quite a group of hawks...nice to see some photos of the Cooper's hawks.

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  9. I love the photos. I have been replanting my yard for more than three years to attract birds so I really appreciate diversity you have. Thank you for post.

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  10. Really awesome picture!

    What camera are you using?

    Really enjoyed your post, keep it coming

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I used a Nikon D40 with a 55-200mm lens.

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  11. Nice shots of the hawk. We had a Cooper's hawk in our garden last year. It decimated our nesting birds. Maybe even the jay which had plagued the cardinals for several years. It seems to be missing this year which is a good thing in my opinion.

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  12. What a thrill! I would love to see a hawk in my garden. In the same way, I always get a kick out of seeing our nesting screech owls.

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