Cider Press Hill

Yeah, but

Tuesday, 4:04 pm

As I was sitting here at the dining room table, watching my mourning dove taking her daily drink from the bird bath on my deck railing, a red-tailed hawk swooped down and made off with her.

Yeah, I know a red-tailed hawk has to eat, too, but darn it. I Love my mourning doves. They have only just started coming back after a previous period of being picked off by the hawks. Either I’ll have to find a way to protect the doves from above or I’ll have to try to stop attracting them. It’s just not right to provide a place for them to eat and drink so that they can become someone else’s dinner.

Posted by Kate on 09/1608 at 04:04 PM

I had a similar experience once.  I felt like I was watching an episode of “wild Kingdom”!

Posted by canyoncottage on 09/16  at  04:46 PM

I decided that had to take my feeder down for quite awhile because a Sharp-Shinned Hawk was beginning to sit in the tree where the feeder was hung, and he didn’t seem too scared when I came out and tried to chase him away.

I like my raptors, too, but not when I’m giving them an unfair advantage.

Posted by loren on 09/16  at  06:09 PM

The conventional wisdom about these things is to place the birdbath and feeder under trees so the hawks can’t zoom in as easily. I’ve had hawks in trees like Loren though, so maybe the idea doesn’t work so well.

Posted by pablo on 09/17  at  05:57 AM

Sitting in the trees out back is at least one thing the hawks haven’t started yet. They circle above and dive. I wish they’d dive for the field mice and other such critters, but noooo. Lazy bums.

I’ve been thinking about ways to thwart them. Mainly by throwing obstacles in their path. There are no trees close by the deck, so I might have to find a few dead branches to affix near the bird bath. Besides giving the little birdies a place to sit, it would obstruct hawk swoops. The two clotheslines strung across the deck have kept the birds on the floor safe. They can poke around for seed without being swept off. It’s the mourning doves who are most at risk, though. The other birds are quick. Mourning doves are very slow moving and their responses to quick movements and danger are slow, too. They need extra protection.

I’ve removed the birdbath for the time being. The birds are very disturbed about it, too.

Posted by Kate on 09/17  at  11:41 AM

we keep our feeders and 4 of our 5 bird baths under the trees so the birds are not so visible to the raptors. it would upset me out so much to see what you saw.  :(

i love the mourning doves, too. we only have a couple that visit us here, and they are not daily visitors. in atlanta i had families of them all summer.

Posted by sky on 09/18  at  02:38 AM