Monday, September 28, 2009


This morning I was treated to a most amazing aerobatic display through my office window!!

Our house is surrounded by forty year old trees, and we feed the birds.  Anyone who has this same set of circumstances knows that in addition to feeding the birds, you also feed the squirrels.  Not that we intentionally do it—it’s just a fact of life.  Our squirrels run in herds and sometimes it seems as if our lawn is alive!  Keeping food in the feeders and actually feeding the BIRDS is a daily challenge.  We’ve come to the conclusion that no adult human being is “…as smart as the average squirrel”… and have come to grudgingly accept that fact.  We’ve slowed them down a little by putting up so-called “squirrel proof” feeders that close when a squirrel hops on, and have found that they won’t eat the “hot pepper suet”, but by and large, the yard belongs to the squirrel herd.

This morning as I was working at my office computer, and watching three of “the herd” scamper up, down and around the trunk of our forty year old Burr Oak tree, from the corner of my eye I spied what at first appeared to be a huge leaf hurtling to the ground.  When I got up to look I was surprised to see a Cooper’s Hawk sitting at the base of the tree.  He (or she) had apparently tried to grab one of the squirrel herd and missed.  As I watched, he focused on another group of squirrels  in the neighbor’s yard, and took off in another attempt to catch breakfast—another miss! 

Now, a Cooper’s Hawk usually preys on birds and small rodents such as mice, and I believe this particular hawk has dined at my feeder before.  But this is a young bird, and apparently has big ideas.  This morning he had a real craving for squirrel tenderloin.  I watched in awe as he tried six more times to catch one of those #@!! squirrels with no success.  One time he even tried to pluck one off the trunk of the tree, wingtips coming within inches of the trunk!  Finally he flew off to find easier prey, leaving me in awe and the squirrel herd intact


Jane said...

Maybe you can get him/her on the payroll to keep the squirrels at bay. I feel your pain & have also given up fighting them. It doesn't help the birds that our neighbour has now decided to let her cat out in the mornings & she camps under the feeder. Do you watch the butterflies too? We haven't seen any swallowtails this year at all....

Photog said...

I HAVE seen a quite a few of the black swallowtails, but come to think of it I don't recall seeing any of the big yellow ones. I've been seeing quite a few Monarchs recently, but not a big migration yet.