Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hawks, Thrashers, Cats

I got out of the house this morning at about 7:30 and I recorded 8 or 10 bird species just by sound right away. There were lots of birds singing and in general you can really tell spring is coming by the increased bird activity in the morning. Just across the street I found this Red-shouldered Hawk eating a squirrel. It called several times and at least 2 other hawks answered. I saw 3 more hawks today -- a male Cooper's Hawk on the flood plain property, a Sharp-shinned Hawk soaring over Stillforest on my way back home, and a Crested Caracara near Parmer when I drove to the grocery store.

I assume that work on the hike-and-bike trail through the flood plain property is finally done. The erosion control fences have been removed and the boulders have been replaced at spots where vehicles could enter. There is still lots of trash back there. I've thought about organizing a trash pickup. Maybe it would be a good time to do that now since vehicles can't get back there as easily to dump more. I almost always see a cat or 2 on the flood plain property which troubles me since that's one of the few places with lots of ground cover for birds that prefer to forage near the ground. This morning I found these these low-foraging birds on the flood plain property: White-throated Sparrows, a White-crowned Sparrow, a Field Sparrow, lots of Chipping Sparrows, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, and a Brown Thrasher. I was especially pleased to find the Brown Thrasher near the new parking lot. I was worried that not enough habitat was left when that parking lot was built. But it's depressing to me that some of these birds will probably be killed by feral cats or pet cats that aren't kept indoors. Here's one I saw today.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great to know Red-shouldered Hawks eat squirrels. I feed the birds but squirrels also dine on the sunflower seed. They can empty a feeder in two days. Susan

Anonymous said...

Awesome hawk photo! One can really see the bird and mammal details by double clicking to enlarge the photo.

Moria said...

I think we should organize a trash pickup. I don't think it would be too difficult, just a lot of work perhaps. And most of it might be finding the right people to connect with and getting the word out.

Was your intention also to pick up the bulky trash that seems to have been dumped in the denser woods? I think that would be really great to get that stuff out of there...