Yesterday I noticed a bird in the Lilac bush. It was not any of the usual birds I normally see during the winter, and from the distance I couldn’t make out what it was. It sort of looked like a Robin, with its rust-colored breast, but I was sure it wasn’t a Robin, this time of year. I got out my camcorder, zoomed in, and took some photos.
I didn’t really identify it until I downloaded the photo onto the computer and started leafing through my bird books. It was a Sharp-Shinned Hawk (Accipiter, striatus) I had often heard my birding friends mentioned Sharp-Shinned Hawks, but I had never seen one, or at least didn’t recognize one if I saw it.
Sharp-Shinned Hawks are Accipiters and are about the same size as a Jay. They eat mostly other birds that they catch on the wing, but they also eat rodents and insects. This one was watching the birds flying over to eat peanut butter that I put out. I always have an urge to chase predators away, but then stop when I remember that they need to eat too, and they play an important part of the balance of nature.
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