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Cardinal Sin

Sharp-shinned Hawk

There have been hunters here all winter..... A Cooper's Hawk hit the big window a couple weeks ago. Our fledgling birder, little Peggy, goes to that window every single day now and asks where the Bird went.

"It flew away," I tell her, but she always asks again. 

I thought that was who was sending all the birds on all the feeders up in a whirl every little while and bouncing them out of the trees and hedgerows willy-nilly.

However, when I was at the sink this morning I saw a small hawk chasing a Cardinal around the fence between the backyard and the horse yard. I grabbed the camera to see if I could find the fray and hurried up through the snow.

To my astonishment the hawk had a female Northern Cardinal trapped up against the snow fence that surrounds my old round pen where I started the Border Collies on sheep. And he was utterly unafraid of me. 

He wanted that hen cardinal and he wanted her bad. I took a bunch of photos, waited for the cardinal to get brave and leave, and then left him to it.

I know, I know, you are not supposed to interfere with nature and all that, but dagnabbit, those are MY cardinals. Let the hawk eat starlings. Or House Sparrows! He could feast on fifty or sixty of them and I wouldn't complain.

Seriously though, much as I find it disconcerting to see the feeder birds on the menu, hawks have to eat too. This little sharpie will keep our local fliers honest as well as adding another bird to the year list.

Over the past few years we have seen many more Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks around here, whether because the population is increasing or our habitat is appealing I don't know. For whatever reason it is nice to see them. 

Saw this guy and an immature down by the river the other day

This post first appeared on Northview Diary, please read the originial post: here

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Cardinal Sin


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