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Archive for October 3rd, 2007

hawk9-7-0271.jpghawk9-7-0371.jpghawk9-7-032.jpgWhat began as another age-old battle between the birdfeeder and the squirrels turned into the craziest afternoon at our house. After years of frustration, one squirrel on steroids managed to scale our old pole, finesse over the guard and scarf up seeds meant for the cardinals, titmice, woodpeckers and blue jays. My husband’s answer was to buy the newest technology, guaranteed to thwart the most persistent fluffy-tailed rodent. This one required a hook, so Jerry extended the pole and reconfigured it. We filled it, made sure I could reach the hook, tested the spring that closed off food to anything heavier than a bird. All that was left was to wait and see if our usual visitors accepted the new contraption.

An hour passed. Our yard looked like Silent Spring. Then a shadow passed over as I looked out the window. There clinging to the pole was a red-shouldered hawk. We blinked at each other and I ran for the camera. I need not have run because he was there for a good half hour, staring at me, then at the squirrels eating scattered seeds below. He made no move toward them, but another hawk swooped down low as a squirrel scurried out of his way. The second one landed on the screened porch roof. They were there until I stepped outside for closer shots. Just after his screeching video debut the one on the feeder spread his wings and with a swoosh headed for a high tree branch.

Much later the smaller birds began marshalling their forces on the fence, then did fly-bys to check out the new feeding station before one finally landed. We are assuming they will get used to it and be back each day as usual. Perhaps the hawks will patrol the new feeder periodically and keep the squirrels in line. If that works we’ll just say, “We meant to do that.” Meantime, we enjoyed a spectacle in our back yard.

(In second picture above note squirrel on post behind the hawk. What was he thinking?)

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