Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Cooper's Hawk at the Bird Feeder.

My upstairs to- the- right neighbor at these apartments has a plastic cylindrical bird feeder outside his window on a tree branch. He refills it by pulling it inside with a hooked pole. He is protective of the house finches and titmice that come, and I heard him one morning giving the maintenance man an earful about a cat that hid in the foundation shrubs under his feeder. Cats come and go here. We had a feral colony about a year ago, but they have all disappeared. But now my neighbor's feeder has a new threat.

Put up a feeder and the sharp-eyed Cooper's Hawks will find it. They eat songbirds, and they explode out of nowhere. I had one almost hit me once as I was going out to my old vegetable garden. Hell-bent is a good word to describe them, and I have read that some die through recklessness. I have seen one in the trees around here in the early mornings, and this morning as I came home from work, one flew out of my neighbor's feeder tree. He did not go far, but landed on the iron stairway rail on the landing of my apartment. He carried nothing in his claws, nor was he likely to in the near future. He saw me, and then the bluejays saw him. His cover was blown.

I doubt he would fly under my porch to my feeder for a meal, but that does not make my porch safer. Big, leafy trees abound. And there will be other mornings and more mourning doves, and a careless towhee or two. We read about animals and birds that resent the closeness of humans and avoid us. But there are many who thrive as camp-followers. Raccoons, possums, skunks, coyotes, and Cooper's Hawks.


Out on the prairie said...

They do come in fast. Sometimes I have had one visit, and wish they would go away.I put out a lot of feeders so it probably attracts them.

troutbirder said...

Mmmm. What an interesting post. They are fairly rare here (or very secretive) as I've only seen a few and never in my yard. Love your flower tour!