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A Hawk Skirmishes With The Starlings At My Deck Feeders

Much to my delight, while writing at my computer facing my backyard, a blur of feathers caught my attention. It was a hawk! It landed on my backyard deck railing!!  The flourish of feathers must’ve been him going after one of the many birds that hang out on the railing.

He quickly targeted another prey and chased a starling at my feeder. The starling escaped into the next door neighbor’s tree. The hawk circled the feeders one more time, then headed over to the next court. He flew low and close to the buildings. If someone at that moment had stepped out of their front door, they would’ve had a surprise encounter.

It all happened so quickly and I’m a newbie at hawk ID, so I’m not sure which kind it was. Possibly it was a Cooper’s hawk or a sharp-shinned – both are known to hunt at backyard feeders. On the other hand, its tail was shorter than the field guide pictures of those species.

Luckily, these hawks are known to hang around the local area year-round, so I hope to see it again.

Now, I have a new fondness for European starlings. If they attract hawks to my suburban backyard, they are welcome here!

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