Daily events at our bird feeders don't often rise much beyond the benign. That changed this week with the arrival of a new bird, seen here at the base of the spruce tree.
A sharp-shinned hawk! As you can well imagine the sudden arrival of this new visitor has not been without incident. A female pine grosbeak has been the first victim. Hopefully she will be the last. While hawks have their place, I'm sure, they don't get along with the feeder crowd the way I see it. They should find their own feeding ground...
I'm rather partial to predators and wouldn't mind them at the feeder (if I had one) at all. Much rarer occurrence to see a Sharp-shinned Hawk than a Pine Grosbeak.
And it did find its own feeding ground Michael. Think of it as you putting out some bird for it, rather than the seed for the seed eaters.
Funny how we're ready to let Nature be nature sometimes, but not all the time, isn't it?
In Fort Providence, where last I had a feeder, I had a shrike show up. I was ecstatic, a really cool, relatively rare and growing rarer bird. I can't remember if it was a Loggerhead or a Northern, and it matters not. It hung around for a couple of days and had taken one of the dozens of redpolls there. Don't get me wrong, I like redpolls, but predators make prey stronger, and are essential to this dance of life.
Then it stopped coming, and a couple of days later I mentioned it to one of our guards, who also had a feeder. He enthusiastically told me he had shot it with a pellet gun, protecting "his" birds. No idea of the loss, to us, to the prey.
It is funny, and more than a little sad sometimes.
I agree with you completely, Clare. We've had shrikes here as well and, like in this case, we don't interfere. It really is is Nature's way of keeping things healthy. I'm just glad we train medical personnel for ourselves and vets for our domesticated friends...!
We have our local red tailed hawk. I know he's around when the feeder becomes like a ghost town. It is awesome to see the speed with which he makes his attacks. Like a good conservationist, he rotates his hunting grounds and only shows up once in a while.
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