Married to the Empire

Monday, March 24, 2008

My backyard Animal Planet

My bird feeder is one of my favorite things. I just love watching all the birds and squirrels who come to feed at it, and it's great entertainment for my cats.

I was watching the birds while I ate my breakfast this morning, wondering how many grackles were about to find their way to my feeder. The annual descent of the grackles means I'm constantly filling my feeder because they're very greedy birds. As I was watching, a hawk landed beneath my feeder. Our usual feeding crew is made up of cardinals, morning doves, chickadees, blue jays, grackles, and squirrels. Hawks are a rare sight here in suburbia.

Suddenly, the hawk took off in flight, and I saw that it had something black clutched in its talons. I think it took off with a grackle, which is nothing short of amazing because grackles are quite big. It may have been some other bird, or maybe even a mouse, as we get those under our deck sometimes, but as it looked black, I can only assume it was a grackle.

All the birds freaked out, and our feeder has now been empty for hours. That hawk spooked all my hungry patrons. My cats were riveted, especially as a grackle flew straight into the living room window in its haste to leave.

It's like my own personal Animal Planet here in my backyard!


Ann said...

Wow! That hawk will be back for sure! Is a grackle another name for a crow? Did it die when it hit your window?

Ewokgirl said...

I got a little freaked when I went out for the mail today. I carry Calvin, and Doogie is allowed to walk out on his own since he stays near the porch and never runs off. I started to worry that the hawk might try to carry him off, so I quickly shooed him back inside.

I don't think grackles and crows are the same, but I'm really not sure. seemed to indicate that they are, but a bird site I went to didn't say that at all. I just know that they're big, black, loud, and annoying! They bully the other birds away from the feeders, and they eat voraciously so I have to fill my feeder at least once a day when they show up in spring.

The one that hit the window didn't die. It managed to fly off, much to the disappointment of my cats.

AnneK said...

We are planning to get a bird feeder at our house. I haven't seen too many birds around here, but my friend told me that if I get one, they will start coming.

Cool story about the hawk. :D

Ewokgirl said...

Annie, they really will come if you just put the food out. If I forget to feed them for a while, no one shows up, but as soon as the feeder is full again, it's a feeding frenzy. I don't know how they always know, but they do.

I was at work all day today, but the feeder hasn't gone down much in volume, so I think our birds are still spooked by the hawk. The good news is that we've had no more grackles in our yard. I don't mind them, in general, as they're God's creatures, too. It's just that they're big, greedy, and they bully the little birds away.