This is the first year.. I have ever tried to put seed out for birds. I quickly learned that it might not be such a good idea.
While I was thoroughly enjoying the many different birds that came, it was soon obvious.. that I was providing predators an easier opportunity to catch their prey. One of which is the Cooper's Hawk that preys on small birds, rabbits, rodents.. etc.
Before I knew it.. there were more Coyotes in the area. We witnessed the Hawk trying to get the birds, the Coyotes trying to get the Hawks.. etc. etc. and then low and behold.. Cougar tracks.
Definitely time to stop feeding the birds, and just stick with the nectar feeders!! I was able to capture pictures of over 47 different bird species.. and identify them, over just this summer.
Some native to this area, and some migratory. Its been such an exciting experience. I guess I'll just have to go out looking for THEM instead of making them all like sitting ducks. Its a lot safer for everyone all around.
So sad to give up such an awesome "home" hobby.. but it quickly became the little Oasis.. or pit stop for just about everything out here! I was blessed with the experience though. Cindy
I am trying to identify this hawk that I saw in the parking lot at my office in Tamarac, South Florida. We are very close to the edge of the Everglades in western Broward county. The parking lot has many bushes and small trees and the local birds are mockingbirds, mourning doves, grackles, blue jays, and the occasional green parrots.
A couple of local wildlife experts differed in opinion - either a juvenile broadwing or juvenile Cooper's hawk.
The hawk was in a small tree and the mockingbirds were having a fit. They were squawking and chasing and dive bombing the hawk. But I followed the commotion and got these pics of the hawk on a branch.
He was much larger than the smaller birds but not as large as some of the hawks I have seen in other neighborhoods. He had grayish coloring with a light gray breast with darker spots or streaks. He had big yellow eyes and a hooked gray beak. His legs were long and bare, which made me think he was young. Most pictures I have seen of mature adults had feathers growing down their legs.
If anyone thinks it will help, I have two other pictures with a close up of his head and a better view of his breast.
About three weeks ago (Mid December) my husband and I were sitting on our deck about 8 o'clock at night, when I caught a what appeared to be a shadow coming up from under our deck.
I followed it with my eyes, and it lit - a huge barred owl. He perched on a the end of a wood swing set about 10 feet from where I was sitting.
He very regally sat, and stared, first at me, then slowly turned toward my husband, and looked straight at him for a while. Then he turned back toward me, sitting there, very still, staring straight into my eyes.
Next he turned his head all the way around - around the back - and looked at my husband from the other side. This went on for about 10 minutes - the owl did not move, except for turning his head.
He did not appear the least bit concerned about human proximity. Finally, he spread his wings, and flew off into the woods below our house.
This was absolutely fascinating - I've never seen an owl this close in the wild.