How sweet birds are....I've given many thoughts of having a few in my home but the cats put a screeching halt to that whim. Phooey....well maybe someday. Until then I'll enjoy my outside birds who frequent the feeders.
Lately though...I have become concerned about the lower amount of visits to the station. I've had annoying blue jay who keep me busy with peanuts and crackers. If they don't find that for dinner, they tend to eat ALL of the seed........
no BJays though.
My male evening grosbeak was regularly a sight to seed at the feeder,always after we've eaten our own dinner.
But he too is gone.......
Lately I have had a pair of yellow finches, a male with his mate but they soon stopped coming.....
I could always rely on Mr Robin bob, bob, bobbing in my backyard, using it's keen hearing for those purchased earthworms we planted. He or she has been a staple every morning for the last 2 years. Might not be the same one but still....
Okay....hubs was getting ready for work on Monday and heard commotion, bird screeches and blamo! My Robin was gone.....food for this....
A hawk, believing it to be a red-tailed hawk. We watched it make a quick ending of suffering for my Robin.
It was mantling as birds of prey do when it comes to feeding but I also felt it was done for my Robin not to escape while injured. Poof....my poor robin was gone.
Although I'm impressed with the beauty of this bird, I'm less happy with the quality of freedom for all the little birds. I've removed the attraction of the feeders, although I fear it might be too late.
He, or she...had her back to us (and back to to my female cat who quietly watched the murder and mayhem from the deck), the hawk flew off within less than a minute clutching my bird, of course.
He, or she....was a young juvenile and looked more like the photo below, the tail was still banded and not reddened but was most defiantly square. It has amber eyes (another hint of age) and it was smaller the the normal adult.
Wikipedia has all the info
anyone could want to read about when it comes to these raptors. It informs that these are the birds falconers use for their falconing. The falconer is only allowed to take "passage" hawks for training, that is birds under one year are are out of nesting (Hey, I know where one is!). It is to make sure the population of the hawks are on steady numbers. Hawks are protected in the United States and their feathers fall under the Eagle feather law....that is, no feather may become the property of anyone and only American native Indians can apply for a permit to keep feathers, and keep for tribal purposes/uses only. This is ONLY if the proof of the heritage of the applicant is solidly clear.
Wikipedia goes on to say the Red tailed Hawk (chicken hawk) will eat any bird, amphibian, rodent, squirrel, chipmunk, rabbit (which is heavier), groundhog (which is heavier), and has even been known to ferret out a badger or two (which is heavier), I'm petrified for my cats.....if Wooly get caught he'd be on the menu for the rest of the summer!
These are migratory birds, will nest 4 meters off the ground to higher heights and they sometimes lose their homes to owls as owls aren't into nest building. Relocation of the new nest is within a mile though. This bird reaches a speed of 120 miles per hour while diving in air and can catch a bird in flight by doing so. Grrrr. Nothing I can do to help in preventing other birds from being food. Grrr. The other thing about this hawk......they will siren screech when upset.(apparently my backyard Robin made someONE angry that morning!) They will also be flying free following a falconer as he walks with (dogs?) and the hawk will hunt above the trainers head. When it kills its acquired food, the gourmet dinner will be willingly removed for a traded piece of meat.
Read about Pale Male by clicking here. He is the New York, Red Tailed Hawk, with interesting background history.
Juvenile graphic of a red tailed hawk. C&G Design