[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
Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
dennispaulson at comcast.net

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