Sunday, January 29, 2012

Feathered Drama

Spent last Saturday afternoon trying to lure song birds to the yard. I've learned lot, like keeping the birdbath plugged in and full of clean water-really draws the finches. I have made a mess sprinkling the tiny seeds around the deck rails, but some of the little ones don't feed out of the feeder, they pick it up off the ground. 

Bottoms up!
The birds happily scoot around, pecking and drinking. Suddenly, I spot a sinister figure in the tree line that borders our property.
Here is the reason I don't see any cardinals or titmouse. Hawk.
Enemy of the song bird. 
I watched him for a very long time. 
Then, he made his move.
Toward my yard.
And my finches...
I sat snapping away at my camera, as he powerfully made his way towards the yard...

   This unfolded in a matter of 30 seconds or so. In that time, a thought passed to me, what about the finches?? How do I help the finches? If I opened the door, they would scatter, flying into the air, back towards the hawk coming from the tree line. They'd be easy pickins, for sure.
The hawk was indecisive as well, not wanting to come too close to the house. 
Instead of coming in for the kill, he circled the feeder area and my finches spotted him and scattered into the meager brush, waiting for the clear. 
The hawk did not get his dinner from my yard today. 

This episode just proves to me that no matter how much I think I've accomplished, how many holes we've dug, trees we've planted, it is still not enough. There are still not enough trees, shrubs or grasses to provide the cover for the smaller birds. 
I'm seriously considering a row of grasses and red twig dogwoods. I also know that I will no longer pass the "Please take me home" section at the garden center. 


  1. Amazing photos, I didn't know they were a threat to songbirds!

  2. No mater what you do, the hawks will always be there. It is just the way of nature. But more cover will mean more hiding places and give your birds a fighting chance, so don't get discouraged. Keep planting, you have enough room for sure! Last summer I nearly got nailed in the head by a hawk chasing a sparrow trough my tiny yard and I have lots of cover.

  3. I see you are starting to get some birds. Great!!
    I have Hawks too. I don't like them but I guess it's part of nature.
    Do you have Blue Jays in your area? Blue Jays are bossy birds but I tolerate them because they are loud and very alert and warn other birds of danger, so they are good to have around.

  4. Even when you have planted up the entire yard, it will not be enough! But every tree and shrub planted and every grass and perennial left standing creates habitat.

    What great pictures of the hawk. Wow.

    (My heated birdbath is a godsend to the birds in winter, but this year the outlet won't work. Not a tripped fuse or anything simple, so we need an electrician... sheeesh)

  5. Yep, it's hard to protect them. You might try a scarecrow sort of thing???

  6. I love owls, but have avoided trying to attract them to our yard for the same my song birds more :)

    The good news is...they eat rodents too!

  7. Fantastic photos of the hawk, Sissy! Planting more cover for the birds is a good idea, but I'm afraid this is the way of nature. I'm not sure why I'm not seeing many songbirds this year; I think some snow cover would help.

  8. That's an amazing set of photos. So glad that there was a happy ending! All the best, Jx

  9. Sissy, I never know what to expect when I'm stopping by your blog. You have so many interests. I'm awarding you the Versatile Blogger Award. Cheers!

  10. I enjoyed your post... I love birds, too, but not so much the hawks, although I suppose they do have a purpose in life... although I'm never happy when they fulfill that purpose in my gardens. I could never have too many songbirds, hmmm.... let me rethink that.

  11. What wonderful shots of the hawk in flight. I love feeding the birds and in the winter it is something to watch as they flit around. I have heaters in my birdbaths too but I think they have not been needed so much this mild winter.


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