Scratch one Dove

So, I was wandering past the window last week, and lo and behold, someone else was getting breakfast. Apparently a hawk was hunting over bait, as they say, and got one of the large, slow, and often dim whitewing doves.

I apologize for the image quality. I just had my phone, and couldn’t brace against anything to get a better shot through the window.

11 thoughts on “Scratch one Dove

  1. Even here in the Big City, you can see hawk strikes at the backyard feeder. Of course, it helps to “feed the birds,” and to be outside regularly doing something “quiet” like reading. We’ll see two or three strikes a year, the best ones are the flashing chases that dart between houses, above the driveway and through our crabapple tree. Usually Sharpies or Coopers Hawks. The Red Tails spend their time hunting over the highway. They rule from above and rarely deign to stoop to the neighborhood level.

    • We have a fair share of eagles here (back of beyond, in S Central Oregon), but red tail hawks do the critter control work well. Ground squirrels are a favorite, with the hawk flying from the north to get a GS intently looking for danger from the south.

      One of the more interesting sights in a meadow; large ground squirrel hole, with enough bird droppings to realize it was a cafeteria of sorts. Quite a ring of hawk guano around that hole.

  2. Bird feeders do, in fact, feed birds. But it’s not always the breeds or methods intended.

  3. The pair of re-shouldered hawks working our area leave occasional puffs of feathers on the ground. After one of the winter snows, though, two squirrel tracks came to different endings. One continued away, but the other ended, quite abruptly.

    “Two tracks diverged on the snow so wide,
    But mine was the one more randomized,
    And that has made all the difference.

    The snow is lovely, wide and deep;
    But I have a burrow to keep,
    And far to go, to safely sleep,
    And far to go, to safely sleep.”

  4. Yep, found two piles of feathers in my front yard this morning… The raptors are out and about…

  5. I don’t see many hawks, but we have a LOT of bald eagles around, a bit north of the Mighty Columbia River. We feed birds, and chipmunks. Wife has seen a squirrel, but I haven’t.

  6. If the prey was a white-winged dove, then that hawk is most likely a Sharp-shinned. They are nearly the same size. Buteos like the Red-shoulder and Red-tail hunt ground animals, but the Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned hawks are specialist bird-killers. Feeder stations are like a buffet to them.

    The other possibility for the hawk in the photo is actually a falcon, specifically a Merlin. They will also take birds mid-air, but I think it unlikely a merlin would attack a bird as large as a dove.

    Nice sighting. That sort of thing is going on all the time, but I hardly ever actually see it.

    • I suspect it is a sharp-shinned. The Merlins tend to hunt on the edge of town, and are smaller (at least the ones in this region). The Mississippi kites have not migrated in yet. Although the buzzards have, which I suspect delights [NOT] the people who live around and under their rookery.

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