Crazy couple days here in the backyard! Thursday a Sharp-shinned Hawk showed up and hung out much of the day. She and the Blue Jays had a few good squabbles, lots of screaming, hitting and chasing. A Sharp-shinned Hawk is pretty much the same size as a Blue Jay hence the Jays not being afraid of such a predator. I'm sure if the Hawk gets lucky, she still could kill one of these mobbers, but so far that has not happened yet.
The protector. One of six.
All the other birds disappeared or hid deep in the cedars at the back. Even my Pigeon buds did not stick around for such a threat. They are too big for a Sharpie to take but they aren't chancing it. Did I ever blog about our Shirley Sharp-shin who did her best to take out a Pigeon the other year? It was intense and she almost succeeded. I think it's on that list of blogs to do.
Anyways, I'm looking at this Sharpie and am wondering if it is our Shirley returning for another season? This one is about as bold as her; or just really hungry?
I've been keeping my distance, letting the birds duke it out, letting her have a chance to eat, and just hoping she doesn't catch one of our Woodpeckers, Cardinals, etc. The unique visitors, the ones we have only a pair or two of. I always bet the Hawks will grab one of the species we have plenty of like House Sparrows or Starlings. She disappeared sometime in the afternoon and not seen the rest of the day.
Friday, shortly after sun up, we are out of bed, looking out the window to the back. I catch sight of one of the Skunks finding some last bits to munch on before turning in for the day. And who do I see on top of our bird feeder pole but this Sharp-shin!
Giving the term "bird feeder" a whole new meaning.
"What you looking at man?"
There was a good battle once again between the Hawk and Jays for well over an hour. The commotion spooked all the other birds away but seemed to bring the attention of another predator, a Cooper's Hawk. This bird came in and silenced the place. The Jays freaked right out but knew their place, as did the smaller Sharpie, and everyone fled. The Cooper's flew about the yard, from tree to tree, down to the shrubs, looking to flush something out for lunch. Wow!
First sight of this Cooper's in a tree just over the Holly bush. I stayed on the back deck, giving this bird it's space, and not wanting to spook it off.
Hanging under the bird feeder pole, scoping the Viburnums for hiding Sparrows. Love the tail on this heavily cropped shot.
The Cooper's made the rounds on potential hiding spots, had a sit at the back for a short bit and eventually went off elsewhere. I've yet to see this bird again since this moment. The Sharp-shinned did not come back for the rest of the day. Today, she is here once again wreaking havoc.
All my hand feeding Pigeons have come in today, which I am happy to report. Everyone has had a good feed from me and left right after. No one can ever tell me these are dumb birds.
Petey has found the safest spot out back!
All I can say is enjoy the birds, all of them, even those Hawks that too many I know despise and will chase and throw things at from their backyards. Hawks serve a great purpose, weeding out the birds. You know the term "only the strong survive". A Hawk has to eat too.