Thursday, January 24, 2013

Disruptive Visitor

For the last few weeks we have had a new bird visiting the backyard. Normally, this would be a cool thing - a new bird to identify! Indicators, so far, lead me to think - Sharpshinned Hawk, immature by breast feather pattern and eye color.

Red Shoulder hawks and Red Tail hawks are common in our neighborhood, usually soaring, occasionally landing on the back fence. These two hawks are no threat to the hummingbirds. The hummers generally pay them no mind and a group of hummers will fly off after a red tail or red shoulder when they leave the fence!

But - the Sharpshinned is clearly trying to make a meal of the hummers and/or Lessor Finches that have had unthreatened access to the backyard for years. He did not seem to have any luck catching anything, but I noticed a small grouping of hummer feathers under our plum tree a few days ago.

This morning was the first time I can recall that I have not had to refill any feeders. And there were only a couple hummers to be seen or heard - normally early morning is a very busy time. And I saw the hawk flying out of a manzanita bush that is right next to the large group of feeders is next to.

Hawks are cool, but I am not feeding hummers to feed the hawk!

A day's picking from the garden near one of the feeders.

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