Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Sharpies

Well, the trend continues. After mulling it over, talking with fellow birders and speaking with the Cornell Lab, we have decided to leave the feeders up. It was a tough decision, but I think the right one.

So, our yard is now an airport for RaptorAir. We really do enjoy watching the hawks and they don't have a high success rate. Studying their behavior is extremely interesting. We still get quite a few birds in the yard, just not quite in such high numbers.

Here are some more photos of the hawks and one of a Northern Flicker as he was escaping said hawks. Hope you enjoy.

The Flicker is extremely fast and agile when the presence of a hawk is detected.

The Sharp-Shinned Hawks just lets us walk all around the yard and watch them.

Here is one of their favorite watch-points. Can you see him?

Here is another good vantage point for the hawk. This shepherds hook is right in the middle of the yard so the Sharpies (this one is a juvenile) can see everything. They can even watch squirrels try to climb the hook while they are sitting on it.

The squirrels seem to know that the Sharpie doesn't want them. This squirrel sniffed around for 5 minutes, waiting for the hawk to fly off. As soon as the hawk was gone, the squirrel climbed right up and started eating. The hawks will fly from feeder to feeder trying to flush someone out into the open.

Sitting on a platform feeder...

or above a thistle feeder... you get the idea.

Right after I took this photo, the Sharpie (another juvenile) shot off the fence for a bathing Pine Siskin. The Siskin was too agile for him, though, and got away!

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Beverly said...

LOL ...RaptorAir! What fun; I'm glad you decided to keep the feeders up. While it might be gory occasionally...they gotta eat too, and like you said, they don't find success every time.

And what a neat picture that is of the problem determining it was a Red-shafted variety!

Since you are able to distinguish the young hawks...are you able to watch their hunting tactics improve? ...just curious.

Great always. Thanks!

Fatrichie said...

You are so lucky! I am a raptor fanatic and would be absolutely ga-ga to be in your shoes. The best I've done is a brief encounter with a Peregrine in my backyard several years ago.

Rich in Springfield
OBOL Lister

me ann my camera said...

What great photo opportunities these hawks provide you!

Rambling Woods said...

LOL..raptor air....You are getting the chance to watch the hawk in action..but I know how you feel. We get sharpies and coopers here...

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April said...

Aw, that's too bad about the songbirds. But I think they're pretty smart too and will be more wary now that the hawks are around. Wonderful looking birds!

Stephanie said...

Amazing pics!