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March 30, 2009


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Saw a Cooper's Hawk take a male cardinal in my garden right outside my window this afternoon. Pretty efficient kill, though I didn't see exactly where the hawk came from...but he clobbered the songbird.

I love seeing songbirds at the feeders especially this time of year (winter!), but I feel it's also a privilege to be able to glimpse a raptor taking prey at close-range.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Interesting observation, Lance. I'm sure it was tough to watch though.

Lance Daugherty

Saw my first Cooper's hawk strike of a cardinal two winters ago. After the hawk was finished with the cardinal, it walked on the ground to a small brush pile and promptly pulled out another bird which it also ate. I know this is natures way but it was hard to watch such beautiful birds become meals. It would O.K. if the hawks caught house sparrows and starlings.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Julie, you're so right. Even looking over this post for the first time in months, I am saddened to see the jays under the talons of the hawk.

Julie Bonzani

I realize its part of nature, but its much too sad for me to ever watch.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Liz - there is no good guy and no bad guy in this exchange. Just 2 birds trying to survive.


Amazing sequence of photos. How strange and wonderful it is to have compassion for both sides: predator and prey.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Larry - you nailed it.

Larry Jordan

Great series of predator and prey Nancy. We are privileged to be able to witness these events and share them with others so that all can be closer to nature. Thank you!

The Zen Birdfeeder

MaineBirder - Amazing thing to witness and sometimes you only have seconds to observe.
Lana - Thanks Ms. Lana! Too bad about your dove, but some predator ate well.


Wow...Very interesting! Ironically, just this morning I saw that a dove had met a violent end at our feeders before I'd woken. Such is nature.


Excellent series of photos!

We had a Northern Harrier scream through the yard a while back and snag a Blue Jay. It was over in a blink of an eye.

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  • Our eyes and ears should be open and alert to the natural wonders that surround us every day. Take time to look out our windows to see the birds that visit us and open our windows to hear them. Walk around whatever space we have to enjoy the birds in nature. Every day, work on improving our powers of observation.


  • Nature happens. We cannot MAKE natural things happen (or NOT happen). We can create habitats to encourage natural things to happen around us, but there are no guarantees.


  • Birdfeeding comes with responsibilities to the birds and the environment we share with them. If you are unwilling to accept these responsibilities, you shouldn’t feed the birds. We also have a responsibility to share these natural wonders with the next generation.