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Where have all the songbirds gone?

July 10, 2008

Chers Amis,

We returned from a 6 day vacation in Colorado (heavenly!) to find a silent bird feeder. Dh had purchased a new multi-species feeder but gone were the myriad Carolina Chickadees, cardinals,tufted titmice, nuthatches, and goldfinches. Pieces of the plastic perches lay askew, victims of aggressive, hungry squirrels.  Odd, our bristle-tailed rodents had never prevented the regular diners from appearing.  It was eerie.

Early yesterday morning, Caddie discovered the problem.  A family of Coopers Hawks have taken up residence in our back woods. The trio – Mama, Papa and baby or triplets, we can’t tell – are very vocal and have been wheeling through the canopy for days, playing tag and hawk ‘Marco Polo’. I couldn’t resist following Caddie and the hawks through the woods.  (Did I mention I was in my pink bathrobe sans chaussures?  Ouch!  Thank goodness our human neighbors can’t peer into our backyard.) Here is a photo I took of one perching in our gnarled dogwood a few minutes ago.  All three were resting in the shade.  While it is quite fascinating to see them up close and they are very regal, I must remember that they are preying on our songbirds and leaving wet ‘hawk pellets’ and battered feathers behind.  I am hoping that now we are home and the kids are out creating a cacophony in the backyard that our visitors will migrate and our feeder will look more like Hartsfield-Jackson International than a Colorado ghost town!


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