Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hungry Hawk

The other morning, it was a little too chilly to walk so I was just hanging out in the yard with the dogs.  It was still early and even the sun hadn't been up for too long, when I saw something unusual.  It was Nature raw and real, right in my own backyard. 

First, I noticed a bird with short rounded wings flying out of the woods.  He landed on one of the wires that runs through the yard.  Once it landed, I was able to get a better look at it.  I think it was a Cooper's Hawk (on the left in the photo; Sharp Shinned on right).  As it turned and cocked it's head, it suddenly dove straight for the Blue Jay cackling away that was sitting on the corner of the 2" by 4".

That hawk was on that Jay so fast, I couldn't believe it!  It was like having the Discovery Channel right in my own yard!  I heard squawking, a shriek or two and saw feathers fly , then drop to the ground.  Then he was off, with his kill clutched tightly in his talons.  

These hawks are built for speed and maneuverability.  Unfortunately, they do prey on birds drawn to our feeders.  Apparently, we have at least one that has taken up residency here in the Hollow because I've been seeing bird feathers on a regular basis up near the barn.  And, I've watched something hovering in the woods across the field on more than one occasion.


  1. We live near a woods too and have heard and seen the same thing. Owls too on a summer night with bunnies....
    I know about survival of the fittest but when I hear little screaming sounds, it does me in!

  2. When something like that happens right in front of you so fast, you are just stunned.

    I had the same experience only with one of our cats jumping up to the feeder.

    A Harris hawk came to our feeding tree once, but he just stayed one day and left. Nary a bird showed up in the yard that day.

  3. Not only the hawks, but the owls come to visit and love to scare the songbirds away. Some meet their demise.
    About that fire, tell me it never got to your beautiful place...brush fires are the most frightening as they take off so fast, especially if it's dry out. Stay safe.
    Love your dog-kids. I miss having them here on our slowed-pace place. Do you remember that song: I will 'follow' you.', and I will.


  4. thanks for the story about the hawks! We have a feeder and there are a few hawks that have stalked the feeder over the years. I hate to see songbirds devoured, but it is natures way. the hawks are magnificent!

  5. They are fast! Just ask Natasha - since she lived to tell about it ;-)

  6. I love nature.I know sometimes it can get nasty,as it did this time,still when you hear the call of a distant coyote,or a lynx cat.I don't know I just love those things. We have a lot of deer and wild turkey around here,I love them too.Well I guess I just love nature period. Blessings jane

  7. We have a large hawk that lives in our woods, I love to see him, but my ChiChi will run and hide when he comes out. She had a twin Sister when she was a baby, we got them at 6 wks and they were so small. They loved to play out side, one day I went to check on them and ChiChi was by herself hiding under a bush by the back door, Chancy was no where to be found. Late that evening we saw the hawk circling over head and ChiChi cowarded down and hid. We really believe the Hawk got our other baby.

  8. My mother was staying with us years ago, and saw a hawk grab one of the little birds at our feeder.
    Thankfully I never saw that happen.

    Some aspects of nature aren't too pleasant!


  9. the local red tail hawk had wiped out our song birds, we have so far seen only 2 doves and a few black birds. our caridnals and jays and other singing birds and all the dozens of doves we had are gone. hawk sits in our pine and devours and we do not like that at all. we think what caused this in the past 2 years, since we have been here 20 years and never had the problem, is the fact they have paved more paradise and the hawks have to come in to find food, they took away their haibtats.

  10. We have not had this problem, as yet. The hawks seem to have plenty of easy game out in the corn and soybean fields, so they haven't found our feeders yet.

    It's just nature -- but sometimes, it's difficult to watch.

  11. We have many haws around here too, but I've never had the Discovery Channel!

  12. I totally feel guilty when this happens here - like I lured the songbirds to their death by putting out all the feeders. But hawks have to eat too. They've taken songbirds, ducklings and even a road runner here.

  13. Hi JP, you know we had a hawk kill one of our hens a few weeks ago. We've had free ranging chickens for almost 3 years and she was the first one we've lost. I kept them up for a week and they're out free ranging again. They just couldn't take being confined. I've got my fingers crossed.

  14. Okay that was survival of the fittest - I know it has to happen - but it makes me sad . . .


  15. yeah, the hawks are good at grabbing right out of the air!!
    nature's way...

    if you have a feeder...the hawks won't be far're 'baiting them up'...especially being in the woods like you are!


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