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Daily Archives: January 15, 2012

My Not So Friendly Back Yard Predators

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We have lots of wild animals around here. Fox, possum, groundhogs, deer, field rats, mice, vultures, snakes …

… to name a few, but today I am going to focus on the hawks.

I have two or three different types that wander through, and occasionally they decide to stay and hunt. The one above, which looks like a Cooper’s Hawk, has been spending almost every day in our meadow looking for rodents. The weather being warmer than normal means the little mice and rats seem to be active in the fields.

Sharp Shin and Cooper’s are the two most common visitors here. When it snows, they love to buzz the feeders and grab mourning doves. Then I get to clean up the mess of feathers in the yard. When the Blue Jays are around, they will chase the hawk, ganging up and flying behind. The jays and the red bellied woodpecker will come up close and eat when there is snow. It does attract the hawks though, and mostly mourning doves seem to fall prey.

They get very brazen too, and decide my patio furniture is a great spot for resting and checking out the scene. They do sometimes perch on the bird bath and get water.

The circle of life here not that far from the cities. The plans we are making to add chickens here need to take into account the natural enemies that also reside in our woods behind the meadow.