Sharp-shinned Hawk

Birding at Bart’s

Birding at Bart Rea’s place today (south side of Casper), trying to get photos of his sightings of a White Throated sparrow. I had my camera on a tripod looking out from the warmth of Bart’s house through a glass storm door while it was snowing.

We were waiting and waiting and just not getting anything for hours. A lone chickadee would swoop in once in a while and grab a single seed and just as quickly, disappear. Finally, another bird looking like a House Finch (to me), swooped in and landed in the bottom of the feeder. Now, if you have ever seen Bart’s feeders, you will know his impressive designs are about the size of a large garbage can. His feeder manufactured from water heater drip pans, 2″ x 2″ mesh, chains, and other hardware, thwarts long armed squirrels from raiding his seed.

While Bart and I were trying to figure out what kind of sparrow or finch it was, a hawk was surveying the feeder for a potential meal. Out of nowhere, it swooped in and landed on the wire mesh, stunning the poor bird. Within a second, maybe two, the sparrow was nailed while trying to escape. The hawk was lightning quick and went from the back side of the feeder to the front to nab its meal. The hawk dropped below the feeder while clutching the bird and sat in the snow just long enough for me to get a few photos.

In the blink of the eye, the hawk flew away with the prize and disappeared into a Blue Spruce tree.

Good birding everyone.