Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Competing Forces

With the Great Backyard Birdcount slated from Feb. 15-18, I decided to prepare something a little special for my feeder birds. Mixing up a batch of homemade suet was pretty easy. Once all ingredients were added, I molded it in an old loaf pan and set it outside to freeze.

Once frozen, I sliced off a good sized piece to hang on the back porch and slipped the remainder in a freezer bag for future use. This was my first attempt at this exercise, and I  was excited to see if the birds would like it. They did!
However, it is difficult to get small birds to come in to eat when there is the competing force of a hungry Sharp-shinned Hawk hovering over the feeders.
 For several days, this Sharp-shinned Hawk has zoomed into my yard frightening away  little birds in the area.
He has chosen to sit in a branch about 30 feet from the feeder and wait and watch. He knows that all the little birds didn't fly far away and that some are just tucked into the evergreens just above and around him.

The juncos freeze in place, appearing to not even breathe. The hawk turns on all of his predatory senses and waits and watches.

This waiting game goes on for quite some time until one small junco makes a move and flies off, followed by several others. The hawk leaps into action and follows in hot pursuit.

This same scene has played itself out numerous times over the last week, and so far, the little birds appear to be too fast to fall victim to this hunter. Of course, I never see what happens when they vanish from my yard.

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