The Heartbreak of Birding

Earlier today I looked out the back window and saw that my Yankee Flipper feeder had become the center of a yard bird frenzy. My usual visitors--Tufted Titmouses, particularly, but also Carolina Chickadees, American Goldfinches, House Finches, and the occasional White-breasted Nuthatch--were flapping around the dogwood with great energy. Joining them were a few woodpeckers--a Downy and a boldly-capped male Red-bellied--and even a couple larger songbirds. I caught white flashes, so before I even had the binoculars up, I was fairly sure they were Northern Mockingbirds. What the heck were THEY doing hanging around a feeder full of sunflower seeds? Mockers are much more likely to go after insects and other small prey; they're just not feeder birds. This didn't make any kind of--

Oh.

That was the moment the gigantic brown bird flew up from the grass where I couldn't see it. It settled on a dogwood branch for a few minutes, with mockers and titmice and woodpeckers all chanting and circling and occasionally flying in from behind to scratch or peck hastily it.

DSC01393.JPGIt was an immature Red-Shouldered Hawk. And it was almost certainly eating one of my feeder birds.

Is it wrong of me to want it to come back?

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on November 21, 2013 2:51 PM.

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