Monday, January 16, 2012

Mixed feelings

This morning I was enjoying watching a huge flock of Red Polls at the feeder out front.  One minute it would be feather-to-feather crowding at the feeder, and the next second, they would all fly off.
I was enjoying a lazy morning of Scrabble, Words With Friends and reading when I saw a big shadow fly by the window.
Much to my delight and yet much to my concern for the little birds, I saw this hawk sitting on a branch not far from the feeders.
I am not sure, but I think it is a Sharp-shinned Hawk, although, it could be a Cooper's Hawk.
Both are common in this area.
These photos were taken through the window and from a distance, so not tack sharp.
 The Audubon bird book says that the Sharp-shinned & Cooper's hawk are similar to a Northern Goshawk.
 It also states that all three of those birds are agile in pursuing smalls birds through trees and bushes.
 So, while I was excited to see this big fella, I am not happy that he was hunting at my feeders.

 He flew off, but didn't go far, I found him sitting on this branch in the backyard.
Then he flew.
I was trying to get as many pictures as I could, blurry or not, for identification.

He did a fly over and then headed North.
I think his square tail also points to this being a Sharp-shinned hawk. 

Luckily the little birds are already back at the feeders.
I have not seen any evidence that Mr. Hawk was successful hunting here.
Nature is so amazing.

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