Yesterday I didn’t get to watch my feeders even for an hour because I was desperately in need of groceries. By the time I got done shopping, it was dark. The birdies had gone to bed. All I could see in the fading light was bird poop and empty shells all over my deck.
Today was a different story. I rushed home at 3:00 for the joy of just sitting and watching. Birds were flitting everywhere. There were about fourteen American Goldfinch, three Black-capped Chickadees, one Downy Woodpecker, a number of nuthatches–both Red-breasted and White-breasted, a few Eastern Juncoes, two or three Northern Cardinals and a handful of Pine Siskins.
Here is a taste of what I watch and watch and watch.
Suddenly the birds all scattered to the four winds. I heard one give an alarm call as it was fleeing and knew an Accipiter was overhead. Sure enough, a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk or Sharpie flew up into the top of a leafless tree across the river. All the birds had vanished except for one. One little Goldfinch remained on the thistle feeder and was sitting there stock still. I watched the hawk for about five minutes and in all that time, the Goldfinch never twitched so much as an eyelash. Amazing. How did the Goldfinch know the hawk was still way up in that tree? Was she keeping one eye on it while perched there on the plastic rod on the side of the seed silo? Wasn’t she getting cold? I sure couldn’t stand there for very long without moving; I started to get a chill and had to go inside. Poor goldie. She had to choose between staying still and cold or becoming the hawk’s dinner.
I wonder how often the hawk visits my yard in search of a snack while I’m at work.