Hawks and the Impending Cardinalpocalypse
Finally saw some Hot Hawk Action! I was watching a frenzy of house sparrows destroy my window feeders (I try to keep the sparrows in the bushes), and I was wondering if I should disturb the other birds to move the sparrows back, even if it was almost dusk. I was just about to leave and grab the bird seed when the birds all freak out, and WHOOOSH hawk wings BRUSH AGAINST MY WINDOW before I realize what is happening, and then I see the familiar banded tail facing me from the fence. It’s the Sharp-shinned! And for once, not eating! He tried a couple times to get at a female cardinal who took refuge in a crape myrtle bush (which I do NOT trim, and which the birds LOVE to eats the seeds out of!), but he couldn’t reach her. Eventually, dispirited, he flew off empty-taloned.
The cardinal was in the bush closest to the house, so I could see that the hawk was TINY!!! Like, maybe only twice as large as the cardinal.
I was wondering why the cardinal didn’t fly off to the neighbor’s orange tree with the rest of the flock. But when I went out to fill the feeders, there was a small spot of blood on the side of the house, so she may have been injured.
It also reminds me: I had found a clump of feathers in the yard, unmistakably from the belly of a lady cardinal. I was very sad (fun fact though, a spider had moved into the feather clump and was using it as a hide!), but a few days later, I saw a female cardinal pigging out at the feeders. She had a bald spot on her belly.
These cardinals, I tell you. Last year, I had one bonded pair. One male, one female. They had an uncountable number of chicks—uncountable because they utilized quantum tunneling and alternate dimensions to pop in and out of existence for the sole purpose of terrorizing thirsty cotton mice.
Mouse terrorizing asshole Sweet juvenile male cardinal who has never done anything wrong ever
They disappeared for a season and returned en masse, with their mates, their mates’ siblings, and their mates’ siblings’ mates (and on and on…). They are still hard to count, but my best attempts are: 11 females, 14 males. The actual numbers are higher.
I don’t know how many hawks I will need before I start having cardinals nesting in my walls (j/k that’s the house sparrows and they ALREADY DO THAT ugh), but this sure is interesting.
February 19, 2019