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Hawk Kills Squirrel


Well, I thought I'd at least start this post on an upbeat note... The Coopers hawk above certainly is a beautiful thing... Unfortunately, one staked out our yard yesterday, and the crows (try as they might) couldn't drive the creature away. (For a moment, the hawk actually attacked the crows - not pretty.) The upshot of it all was that "Don the Squirrel" got munched. (One of the reasons we feed the crows and the squirrels is to keep the predators away from our song birds. This time the strategy worked all too gruesomely.) So, Mrs. CCA discovered the half eaten remains just 15' from our front door. It seems that the hawk is less than secretive when it comes to dining.

Occasionally, I get emails from people asking, "How can I keep away hawks?" or, "How can I keep away crows?" or, "How can I keep away squirrels?" And about the best I can do is to echo the status quo with the usual hollow suggestions about making noise, keeping the feeders close to shrubbery, plastic owls, etc. But when truth be told, there really isn't much one can do... When you feed wild birds, you enter the wild, even if in a limited way. The wife and I made the decision to support sacrificial creatures like chipmunks and squirrels as a way of keeping our birds as safe as possible. Still, it's all too easy to become attached to the sacrificial ones as well... Until the hawk decides to move on... It's a hard world out there...

Somber by the feeders,


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Alan is right: when you decide to feed wild birds, you enter into the wild, in a small way. And that sometimes includes things happening that you don't want to happen...

You can't decide you want to feed the cardinals and the chickadees and exclude blue jays and crows. If you feed the birds, you feed all the birds that show up. And that includes those who show up to feed on those who showed up. It's the circle of life, playing out right in your back yard. And that will sometimes include a half-eaten squirrel carcase being dropped on your porch... or something like it.

Nature is truly red in tooth and claw, and just because you're a vegetarian, doesn't mean that a carnivore bigger than you won't swoop down one day and have you for lunch.

I have to smile and can't agree more. Nature happens and understanding that is something humans need to know more about.
Speaking of "who" or "what", last night I put out a heavy bag of garbage on the patio bound for the dumpster. I forgot about it and this morning, this heavy bag had been dragged more than 20 feet away and big holes opened in the sides of the bag and trash strewn about. What was it? Best guess, raccoon. I'll probably never know, but nature happens.
Harry "Gipper" Morris

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