[Tweeters] Dilemma

Ruth Taylor rutht at seanet.com
Sun Apr 16 21:14:56 PDT 2006


Hi Linda:

Many people have never seen a bird of prey make a kill, so I hope you can look at it as something special, even if the outcome wasn't exactly what you wanted. I have watched Cooper's Hawks increase in Seattle and in my own neighborhood, yet I have never seen one make a kill. Almost, yes - and that was exciting, too - the speed and agility of predator and intended meal. It's harder to learn to catch something that is smaller, more agile, and has wings (and a lot of incentive) to fly away from you, as opposed to picking up a seed. Bird-eaters have to develop efficient hunting skills to survive. I'm glad you didn't scare it away.
Having said that - 
I'm definitely "raptorcentric", but I have to admit that I will not be happy if a Cooper's Hawk nabs one of my neighborhood Western Scrub-jays. But, if it happens, I would like to see it.

    Ruth Taylor
    Seattle/Ballard
    rutht at seanet.com
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Linda Bainbridge <lbainbridge at uicalumni.org>
    To: tweeters at u.washington.edu <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
    Date: Sunday, April 16, 2006 12:43 PM
    Subject: [Tweeters] Dilemma
    
    
    Speaking of Cooper's Hawks (Tim Brennan's posting), yesterday I noticed that the five Band-tailed Pigeons that had been sitting at the top of my plum tree were flying high overhead.  I ran to the window to see if a hawk had flushed them.  The first thing I noticed was a Red-breasted Nuthatch cowering and immobile on top of the suet feeder.  Then I saw a burly adult Cooper's hawk perched about 20 feet away on the pole with the seed feeders.  "Maybe he doesn't see the nuthatch,"  I thought.  "Should I try to scare it away?"  In the next few seconds, the hawk swooped to the suet, grabbed the nuthatch and flew to a nearby tree out of view.  
    
    Should I have banged on the window and scared the hawk off?  After all, my feeders lured the hawk and the nuthatch.  I don't begrudge the hawk his right to hunt for birds, but I'd rather he kill off the starlings or maybe a House Finch.
    
    Linda Bainbridge
    Whidbey Island
    lbainbridge at uicalumni.org
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