Hawks in the backyard

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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.

Red-tailed hawk detail

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.

Cooper's hawk on snowy morn

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.

7 thoughts on “Hawks in the backyard”

  1. Hawks are such intense, fascinating birds. It’s always exciting to see them up close, especially in your own backyard.

  2. Betty, what an awesome sighting! Just looking and reading your posts and viewing your beautiful photography makes me think , I could stay in your back yard all day! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your Holidays!

    1. To be honest, Carol, there are times when there is very little to see. On the other hand, we do see some neat stuff, partly because we are retired and home a lot. And in winter we have a good view of the backyard while we’re inside staying warm. I’d be glad for you to drop by sometime – with luck, you’d at least get to see some backyard birds.

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