To feed or not to feed? That is not the question for I know I will continue to put out bird seed from now til April or May since it provides them with a constant food source and me with a constant entertainment source.
But still, things happen, like Gray Squirrels figure out how to access the squirrel-proof feeders.
And when I least expect it, everyone makes a mad dash because a bird of prey suddenly rockets in with talons extended.
I’d only placed the feeders in the yard a few days ago, but today this Cooper’s Hawk explained why I keep discovering feathers on the grass. Do you see the gray feathers by its talons? Tufted Titmouse? That makes me sad, but . . . raptors need to eat too.
Meanwhile, a female Northern Cardinal who had been feeding on the seed I spread on the ground tried to take cover in the grass. Notice how her crest is raised? I suspect it stood tall indicating her worry.
Even after the hawk flew off, she remained in the same spot. But, do you see the difference? The crest began to drop, perhaps because she began to relax.
I could almost hear her say, “If I don’t move, he won’t see me.”
About 15 minutes and lots of raindrops later, she finally perused the yard.
And let a few more raindrops gather on her feathers before flying off. I was grateful to see her fly, because for a while I worried that she had been injured in the fracas. My other thought was that she might be in shock. But, I think for now, until I learn more about bird behavior, I’ll stick with thinking she was playing it smart and waiting for danger to pass.
Two hours later, I spotted the hawk on our stonewall and later went out to search for feeding evidence as chipmunks and other small mammals are also part of their diet. I found only a couple of downy feathers where the bird had stood in the yard and nothing by the stonewall, but I suspect there may be something to notice in the future.
Today’s drama all happened in a flash and as odd as it may seem, I was grateful to be a witness.