sharpshinned1.jpgI received a recent reminder of another part of the winter bird life around my house. We have feeders that attract house finches, house sparrows, chickadees, and other songbirds who love to eat seeds. And so, on occasion, we attract sharp-shinned hawks who love to eat house finches, house sparrows, chickadees, and other songbirds. I’ve never seen one be quite so obvious about its purpose before though! (Note, it can be quite difficult to distinguish between the sharp-shinned and the Cooper’s hawk. The size of this one, approximately 12 or 13 inches from top to tail, and its tail shape have me leaning towards sharp-shinned, but I’m open to other opinions!)

These guys are pretty feisty. I’ve had one dive bomb me when I was watching it as it kept a lookout up in a neighbor’s tree. It had been chasing a house finch across my back gate when I startled them both, and the house finch got away. The hawk flew up into a tree, and I grabbed my binoculars. After a minute, it decided it was tired of having me watch it (and perhaps a bit annoyed at my part in the house finch’s escape), and it took a dive out of the tree right at me.

So, I timidly took my pictures of this one through our front window. It stayed for a few minutes before losing patience and flying away.