Sharp-shinned Hawk sitting on our fence right outside our kitchen window. I photographed it through the window.
Not as big as you might think. Sharp-shinned Hawks, we call them 'Sharpies" for short, look very similar to the slightly larger Cooper's Hawk. Note the big eye, small head and the squared -off tail. A Cooper's Hawk would be larger and have a longer, rounded tail, usually with a white terminal band. Both Cooper's and Sharpies hunt other birds and show up at your bird feeder. So your bird feeder becomes a bird feeder for them.
Here's the garden fence of the kitchen garden we made this fall. The fence is only about three feet high.
I always have mixed feelings when a Sharpie shows up. The sight of this small, but fierce hunter is thrilling and un-nerving. I worry about the birds at our feeder and hope they escape. But at the same time I know the Sharpie has to eat also. The feeder birds are often in flocks, with the advantage of more eyes to search for predators. We put feeders near shrubs and brush piles so there's a place to dive and escape a hawk. Usually they escape — the ones that don't, aren't as alert, or swift. It is survival of the fittest.
When I see a Sharpie silently and swiftly take a bird at our feeder it makes me realize what the feeder birds live with all the time, the possibility of quick, silent death. No wonder they're so alert all the time. I don't blame the Sharpie, it's nature's way. Sharpies are not mean or evil, they're just hungry.
Meanwhile, there's an ice storm going on outside how. Much of New England is under a severe storm watch. Since we recently went through a record breaking ice storm here, and we were without power for 10 days, we have our fingers crossed it does not happen again.
P.S. I sometimes change the background color of the blog, and the color of the text, to make it more readable. It's still the same blog. Plus, I just love colors and find it hard to keep my hands off occasionally changing things.