A customer in California sent in this photo shortly after receiving the wild bird feeders she had ordered. The two blue celestial theme bird feeders, yellow peanut feeder, and blue wavy birdbath are from us… the hawk was not! Vickie snapped this photo from inside her living room, but by the looks of the flag waving right in front of him, this Cooper’s Hawk would’ve likely been unfazed by any photo op!
A friend recently posted on Facebook too: “To feed or not to feed?” After he witnessed multiple accounts of a Sharp-Shinned Hawk picking off doves around his wild bird feeders.
And me too, on one of the list-serves I recently inquired about hawks at around my feeders. A few precautions and solutions were offered. One of them was to hang wild bird feeders from the interior limbs of trees. The outer limbs will act as a barrier for hawk attacks. The person also said he likes feeding various sparrows and other ground-feeding birds. To protect them from hawks (and cats) he uses tomato cages laid flat on the ground. This gives the birds many entry and exit choices, while keeping them safe from predators.
When asked what kind of hawk was in my yard… I had to research it. The Cooper’s and Sharp-Shinned Hawk look pretty much identical, unless you happen to see them side by side. Although their hunting habits are different, it’s really tough to tell the two apart! According to a wikipedia article by Matt Edmonds: “Cooper’s Hawks are barrel shaped, with the width of the chest fairly close in size to the width of the hips and the largest portion of the chest about halfway down the body. Sharp-shinned Hawks, on the other hand, are widest at the shoulder and get distinctly narrower down to the hips.” You can the full article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp-shinned_Hawk
Oh yeah, and that cobalt celestial-looking wild bird feeder is actually called “Solstice”. It’s a cool hopper style feeder with large capacity and innovative perches, measuring 13 tall x 11 wide x 7.5 deep. It promises to entice feathered friends and keep them coming back. But should you see hawks around your yard, do the birds a favor and move it to a tree!