Yesterday afternoon, Backyard and his winged friends were feeding as usual, with close to twenty birds in the tree, at the feeder or on the ground. Suddenly, as my eye was caught by a larger bird that flew quickly past one window and landed on a branch of the crab tree. All the birds disappeared! Backyard didn't quite make it out of the tree, but sat without twitching a few feet above the new bird. This bird sat long enough for me to get a look at him, then flew off. I had reached for my Peterson Bird Book, feeling sure that I had just seen a hawk of of some sort, then I checked the Museum of Natural History site to affirm my suspicions. I am fairly sure that this bird was a Sharp Shinned Hawk. I had never heard of it before. The size and colouring describing this hawk, was what I had seen, and the reaction of the other birds....HIDE!!!....made me even more sure. These hawks visit feeding stations and prey on the smaller birds that they find there. The hawk is a beautiful bird, but I'm glad he didn't stay long, and even more pleased that my little friends took cover so quickly. It is amazing. Their reaction was immediate. How do they know? Little Backyard stayed where he was for quite a while, then I am pretty sure he wiped his furrowed brow with his cold wee paw, and thought to himself, that was a close one! It was a good thing I learned to play statues so well. Do hawks catch and eat squirrels? ......shudder......... Oh well, back to the feeder.
Today: It's like a soap opera, or perhaps I should say feed opera. Guess who came back? Mr. Hawk returned to check out the site. Fortunately, there were only a few Juncos who quickly flew out of sight. There is a cedar tree next to the crab three and it is used as a shelter by the birds. Now I am in a quandary. I will continue to feed my feathered friends, but I don't want to feel like I'm serving a platter of fresh meat to Mr. Hawk. Oh dear. Maybe he'll give up?
Later on, Backyard was being chased by Roadrunner, and he used his escape hatch in the feeder. I laughed as Roadrunner sat on the rim eating away, and inside the tube was Backyard. I can sense a story of some kind whirling around in my head. I can hardly wait for the next installment.
In the meantime, Sadie cannot figure why I am always looking out the window, and wants up to see what I see. I think she is disappointed. It's just birds......