Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Unexpected guest!

Early Tuesday morning, I slowly opened the curtains, as I do most mornings, so as not to scare the birds from their breakfast at the feeders, when I saw the most incredible unexpected guest sitting on a branch of the tree!

He was not spooked at all, and I was able to run for the camera and snap this shot. Little did I know that he was actually sticking around for the little chickadee that was in the lower branches of our old christmas tree...suddenly, he (I guess it could have been a she...) flew down and flushed the chickadee out of the tree and literally, 'chased' it around the tree 3 times before the chickadee was able to dive back into the center of the branches. The hawk (we ID'd it later with our new "Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds", as a Sharp-shinned Hawk) then flew up into the oak tree in the yard and the chickadee immediately
flew off into the huge hemlock in the driveway. WOW! Watching that was both incredibly amazing as well as terribly frightening. The hawk looked HUGE and the chickadee looked like a butterfly beside it and they moved SO fast! The hawk was back later in the afternoon as we happened to see it fly in to the birdfeeding area and caused a little junco to hit our window. Then when we were out in the yard, we found evidence that this was not the hawk's first visit to our feeders and that he had been more successful than he had been today...So what are we to do? I feel terrible knowing that we have set up a "feeding station", not just for the birds, but for the birds who eat birds!! Yet, I know that we are providing needed feed to so many of the birds. Aidan says that hawks get hungry too...and that is a good point. I think we're just going to have to spend a lot more time out in the front yard and get Buddy to hang out there more too, just so the hawk might think it's too busy an area to hang out. Sheesh, nature, in all it's beauty, can be cruel...


Lee said...

What a beautiful hawk!! At least you have other trees around for shelter. What eats hawks might get this whole food chain thing happening!

Zee said...

What a beautiful picture!!!!! I'm all for shooing the hawk away. Bird feeder are awesome, but unnatural... therefor creating unnatural snack access for Hawks lol at least this is how I'm rationalizing it. I think the Hawk can get to work and fend for him/herself away from your peaceful feeders.

What an awesome opportunity to get so close.