Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Why birds don't come to our feeder anymore

Once, our feeders were the place to be. If you were a bird, that is. All the cool kids from the neighboring parks came by to hang out, eat, and splash around in the standing water on our neighbors roof.

But then, suddenly, everything stopped.

The Hummingbirds were the first to split. Not only were they not coming by the feeder anymore, but they quit their nests and perches on the two trees on our street.

Then we noticed that our feeders were staying full longer. And during the morning, when it had been bird central, our bird bar was virtually vacant.

The reason for this has now become self-evident. The hawk Harper saw earlier seems to have taken up a post at our house.

I saw him last weekend sitting on the telephone wire across the street, looking our way. And a few times now, he's been perched in the tree in our neighbor's backyard, just 50 feet or so from our feeders.

The first time I saw him there, I tried to run him off. I yelled and hollered and shook my rake from the yard down below. I could have been inside making baked Alaskas for all he cared.

Now he comes by every day. He's been out there twice this morning already. He left the second time to go after a dove. I don't know if he got it or not.

I've kind of given up on running him off, but I feel conflicted about him. On the one hand, it's a juvenile hawk and I want it to grow up healthy and strong. I hope he finds a permanent niche in our city ecosystem. And how many people get to have a pet hawk?

On the other... Dude! Stay away from our birds! With Harper being essentially trappped in our apartment until her back is better, the birds that stop by our feeder are one of her few sources of pleasure. Find yourself another niche!

I want him to eat, I want him to grow strong. But not off of our birds.

Oh, nature.

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