We were privileged to have two different hawks in the backyard last week. Harry noticed a large bird eating a squirrel in our white pine tree (Pinus strobus). It was snowing and my view was limited. However, this photo shows the brownish belly band that helped us identify it as a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). This is the first time we’ve seen one in the backyard.
Later in the day we spotted a Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii), which is a relatively frequent visitor. They mostly eat small birds, and when a hawk is in the vicinity the other birds quickly disappear.
Now and then, the hawk is fast enough to catch a meal, and before the day was over we had one less dove in the yard. I always feel sorry for the victims, but I know the hawks must eat to survive and it’s all part of Nature’s way.
Our snow and low temperatures leave no doubt that winter is here. I appreciate all our birds and the interest they bring to our backyard – especially in winter. The hawks are striking and I consider it a special treat to see them up close.