[Tweeters] accipiters do eat birds!

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Mon Jun 29 20:00:30 PDT 2009


Well, I was premature in an earlier post saying "even when we get
regular visits by accipiters, I see no decline in bird populations."
I just found a big pile of flicker feathers in the back yard, and it
dawned on me we hadn't seen for a few days the pair of flickers that
usually frequents our yard, giving us pleasure when they spend time
at the feeders and on the lawn while we are eating dinner.

I know everybody has to eat, but the feeling of sadness and
disappointment when a predator takes an individual animal that you
have grown to like is inescapable. When I think of it, a pair of
Cooper's Hawks feeding perhaps four young would have to have an
effect on the bird populations in the neighborhood. On further
thought, I can imagine that our local Steller's Jays and robins may
also end up in the hawk nest, and from previous observations in our
yard I know they take Band-tailed Pigeons. Breeding hawks have a
smaller home range than wintering birds, as they are tied to the area
around their nest, so I guess they would have a greater effect. This
pair of flickers probably had young in the nest, so predation on them
effectively rids the immediate neighborhood of flickers.

I suppose we should have the same feeling of sadness about the rat,
but the rats for some reason haven't worked their way into our
sympathies.
-----
Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
206-528-1382
dennispaulson at comcast.net



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