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Thread subject: Songbirds and raptors
Name Date Message
Grace 03/17/05 09:32 am .......Does anyone think that the improvment in the number of raptors around will have an impact on the already struggling song bird population? Just musing.
Melanie 03/17/05 09:58 am I would think a raptor would go for something a little more substantial than a songbird which would be little more than an hors d'ouvre.Having said that, in my mother's feeders on Cape Cod, whenever a hawk comes into the neighborhood, the smaller birds scatter really fast.

Looking at the Eagle nest in Blackwater, the birds you see brought back to the nest are more sizeabe, like ducks and there are always plenty of smaller birds avalable that winter over at Blackwater.
Grace 03/17/05 10:39 am There's a pic on the site of a sharp shined holding down a sparrow that he caught (looks like a white throated) and I've seen them go after the birds at our feeders quite a few times. THis is what got me thinking.......
Nancy L 03/17/05 01:01 pm Today I saw a brown-headed cowbird in our backyard.

Last year, my husband & I watched a sharp-shinned hawk eating a blue-jay it caught by our feeders. It took him more than an hour to finish it off. Just a pile of feathers left scattered around.
Dianne, 03/17/05 06:18 pm Hi,
Interesting musing Grace! Actually the hawks called accipiters, which are small woodland hawks like the Sharp-shinned and the Coopers, prey on small songbirds almost exclusively. (They will also take small rodents.) It is very common to see them "stalking" our bird feeders. A Red-tailed hawk, which is a buteo type hawk, will take small songbirds if other prey is scarce.

Some studies are showing that some small bird migration is changing due to the abundance of bird feeders and that in turn is changing the migration patters of the small hawks.

Tim P 03/17/05 06:21 pm Hi Dianne,
I'm Glad you found your way here.
Cecilia 03/17/05 06:30 pm The Sharp-Shinned that took a sparrow from my front yard a few days ago has become a regular visitor now. He perches in a small tree and on top of the hedges and doesn't seem to care who sees him. I'll bet he was catching his meals here all winter and I just never happened to see him in action. I'm not surprised that some of them have stopped migrating...all of the bird feeders must seem like special buffets set up just for them. I can't get too upset over a sparrow (we are overwhelmed with them here) but I would hate to see him get a Goldfinch or Cardinal or Titmouse or...any of the rarer songbirds. I think I will taper off the seed in a couple of weeks to try to wean the birds that hang around here all day, every day. I'm not sure which is worse for them...not having the food source they've gotten use to or being picked off one by one :-(
karen 03/17/05 06:30 pm I just found Dianes site the other day and recommend it its very informative .... Diane glad you found us!
Cecilia 03/17/05 06:34 pm Oh...and yes...welcome Diane. Glad you found us and we found you!
Grace 03/17/05 07:54 pm Thanks, Diane. I never knew about the categories of hawks. I continue to enjoy your site...and the photos there are great.
Dianne, 03/17/05 09:37 pm Thanks everyone! You are making me feel very welcome!

Celeste 03/17/05 10:57 pm I want to add to the above.....Dianne, whenever I get a chance I explore your site...It is well done, so informative and so much more to discover. Welcome....glad you found US too!

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006