Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cardinal Sin

Sharp-shinned Hawk

There have been hunters here all winter..... A Cooper's Hawk hit the big window a couple weeks ago. Our fledgling birder, little Peggy, goes to that window every single day now and asks where the bird went.

"It flew away," I tell her, but she always asks again. 

I thought that was who was sending all the birds on all the feeders up in a whirl every little while and bouncing them out of the trees and hedgerows willy-nilly.

However, when I was at the sink this morning I saw a small hawk chasing a cardinal around the fence between the backyard and the horse yard. I grabbed the camera to see if I could find the fray and hurried up through the snow.

To my astonishment the hawk had a female Northern Cardinal trapped up against the snow fence that surrounds my old round pen where I started the Border Collies on sheep. And he was utterly unafraid of me. 

He wanted that hen cardinal and he wanted her bad. I took a bunch of photos, waited for the cardinal to get brave and leave, and then left him to it.

I know, I know, you are not supposed to interfere with nature and all that, but dagnabbit, those are MY cardinals. Let the hawk eat starlings. Or House Sparrows! He could feast on fifty or sixty of them and I wouldn't complain.

Seriously though, much as I find it disconcerting to see the feeder birds on the menu, hawks have to eat too. This little sharpie will keep our local fliers honest as well as adding another bird to the year list.

Over the past few years we have seen many more Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks around here, whether because the population is increasing or our habitat is appealing I don't know. For whatever reason it is nice to see them. 

Saw this guy and an immature down by the river the other day


Cathy said...

Boy, do I understand your ambivalence about interfering with nature toothed and clawed.

Watching it go on down here in FLA.

Actually had a conversation on the side of a road as a bunch of birders were watching a little blue heron "being watched" by an alligator. Happily - we didn't have to decide. Bird flew off before it walked into his jaws.

Terry and Linda said...

I'm afraid I would have screamed and hollered to make him move on...let him eat sparrows!


Jan said...

Since it is your yard maybe you could post a menu of acceptable...probly wouldn't work though.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Love your bird posts. I learn so much, we don't have the bird diversity here that you do.

Notthatkindoffarmer said...

Very nice article.Thanks for sharing!!

lisa said...

You are so lucky to live up where you do! You get some amazing pictures.