Raptors at the Backyard Bird Feeders

December 2, 2012

Recently, Janet Hug our HM Newsletter Birding expert, posted a Cool picture of a Hawk waiting on a backyard fence, near a group of Bird feeders. I have just started to notice this kind of behaviour over the last few years, but apparently, from all the input I have received on the HM Facebook page on this subject, this has always been pretty common behaviour from predator Birds.

Janet Hug backyard Bird Feeders with waiting Hawk

Janet Hug backyard Bird Feeders with waiting Hawk

I find this very interesting, that these Birds of Prey have figured out that there are regularly available meals, coming and going in a backyard that contains bird feeders that are filled and maintained consistently. Just sit on a fence or tree limb nearby, and wait for the meal of your choice. Brilliant!

Just last summer, near a very used backyard feeder, I seen a nature scene unfold before my eyes. There where Sparrows, Chickadees and Finches, coming and going to these couple of overfilled bird feeders in my neighbors yard. As one group went in for food, others would wait in the surrounding bushes for their turns.

All of a sudden, there was all these shrieks of alarm and excitement. The Feeder cleared out and all the birds that where on the tops of the bushes nearby, either quickly flew off, or worked their way deeper into the cover of the bushes. Something was going on here.

Then……like a bomb from the sky, a red-tailed Hawk came almost straight down from above, with his wings tucked close to his body. He dive-bombed directly into the nearby bush containing many sparrows and Finches, and disappeared inside completely. I never seen this before. In about a minute his head poked up from within the bush as he worked himself the rest of the way out of the bush. When he emerged and started to fly off, I could see he had a sparrow in his talons. Lunch.

A minute or so later, the feeder and surrounding area was back to it’s normal busy/buzzing self. Birds feeding on the feeders and others waiting on top the surrounding bushes, like nothing had happened.

Apparently this was something commonplace for these Birds and after the alert, there was no reason to continue to be on high alert, and everyone went back to the task at hand……feeding at the Feeders. Just another common activity in the day to day Natural world cycles. Pretty amazing to me. Common place for all the Birds involved.



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