Sharpie

At some point (probably while washing breakfast dishes) Arlene called from the kitchen, “The hawk is here! It just buzzed the bird feeder!”

We had seen a small hawk last weekend, under the trees across the driveway, eating something it had just caught. This time, it was on the snow beyond the apple trees. Arlene realized that there had been a redpoll on the feeder the last time she had looked, and it wasn’t there any more. When she got her binoculars, she saw that the hawk was eating a redpoll. Oops.

We looked in the bird book to check out identification. We’re pretty sure the bird was a sharp-shinned hawk, but the size was just about the crossover range between largest sharp-shinned and smallest Cooper’s. The tail looked pretty well squared off, so we’re sticking with sharp-shinned.

Later in the day we walked over to the spot where the hawk had been eating. Sure enough, there was a big splotch of tiny feathers on the snow.

There were at least three other splotches of feathers in the general area. That hawk has been hanging around, picking off birds from our feeder!

The hawk came back later, but didn’t catch anything while we were watching. I did open a window this time, and the bird was closer to the house than where it had been eating, so I got a few better pictures:

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