red flannel pantry

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Archive for the tag “Cooper’s hawk”

starling for dinner

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Our resident hawk paid a visit today, landing atop the feeder pole and looking at the little decorative metal bird as if to say, I was planning to eat you!

His visit reminded me of the last time I saw him. It was a snowy day a few weeks ago. I had gone out to shovel and noticed that the bird bath was running low. I returned inside to fill a plastic pitcher with water when I saw that a greedy group of starlings had descended on the peanuts I had left on a patio table. Squawking and tumbling over one another in a dizzy flurry of feathers, they were oblivious to the hawk, who swooped down and plucked one from the crowd.

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The survivors scattered.  Clutching his prey, the hawk landed in the snow a few feet away. Each time the unfortunate starling struggled, the hawk gripped tighter. After a few minutes, the hawk flew off with his meal.

birdfeeder hitman

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This morning I wondered why there weren’t any birds at the feeders, especially since I had filled the feeders and added water to the birdbath yesterday. I glanced out the kitchen window and realized why: a Cooper’s hawk.

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He was sitting atop the birdfeeder stand, surveying his domain. Although the Cooper’s hawk and the sharp-shinned hawk look similar, my guess is that, given the rounded tail, it was a Cooper’s hawk.

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This hawk knows a meal ticket when it sees one–he’s a birdfeeder hitman. We believe his most recent avian victim was a mourning dove; we found the feathery remains near the edge of the lawn, which saddened us. This time, however, he swooped down to the lawn and grabbed a vole or mouse. Good riddance, I say!

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