Last week, the bird seed ran low somewhere around Wednesday. It seemed that every time I went outside, I was getting scolded from chickadees, titmouse, finches, and squirrels. “You expect us to all fit on one feeder?” they taunted.
So on Saturday, hubby and I stopped for the food and suet and even a special treat of safflower seeds. I cleaned feeders, shoveled around them (hoping the squirrels would stop jumping up on them – it didn’t) and refilled.
“Here you go!” I called out. They were buzzing my head in seconds.
Back inside the house, I vacuumed, then did some research, peeking out the windows as I went. Suddenly, I realized there were no birds at my feeders. There was no song. No chirping.
But wait, clinging upside down to the thin side of the suet feeder was one, tiny nuthatch. He was stone still. No movement. I knew then what was going on . . .
I went window to window until I found it.
I’ve had a Red-shouldered Hawk and a Barre Owl clear my front yard before.
But never a Sharp-shinned Hawk! I took a few photos through the window. When he stayed, I snuck silently out the side door to take a few more. Still he stayed.
I noticed he was puffing up a bit, probably from the cold. I went back inside to grab the tripod. As quietly as I could, I set it up a little closer and snapped a few more photos using my remote control.
Snow began to fall. He stayed.
It took me awhile last night to figure out what he was. Sharp-shinned Hawks are quite interesting! They prefer to live in the forests. Their long tail helps them maneuver around trees as they fly. They chase song birds and mice. For their meals.
So is it any wonder my front yard stayed quiet through sundown, even though the hawk left the front yard around 5pm? I’m not sure I’d risk it for a few seeds either.