Gardening for Wildlife forum: Of Cooper's Hawks, feeder birds, & opossums

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Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads Dog Lover
Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies Critters Allowed
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UrbanWild
Jan 6, 2018 8:38 PM CST
My urban backyard has a fair number of bird feeders with varied offerings. On any given day 50+ mourning doves frequent the yard. Of course all the songbird activity has attrracted the attention of predators. I enjoy them just as much as the rest. I get red-tailed hawks, red-shouldered hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, Cooper's hawks, and kestrels. I do wish hawk prey selection was far more heavily weighted towards house sparrows and European starlings but alas, they LOVE the doves. But hawks need to eat too.

Anyway, last night I walked from back yard to front via the south sidewalk at about 7 PM. At 11:30 PM, I took the dog around that same South side and unfortunately found an immature Cooper's hawk dead on the sidewalk.

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Tonight the Cooper's hawk awaits the regular vist from the Virginia opossum. If he doesn't get the hawk a raccoon likely will. The body is frozen stiff so they may be awaiting a thaw prior to "recycling". If so, that will come tomorrow. We'll see. The food web at work.


Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
[Last edited by UrbanWild - Jan 6, 2018 8:42 PM (+)]
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Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Beavers Region: Canadian Dragonflies Butterflies Cactus and Succulents
Birds Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Deer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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JuneOntario
Jan 7, 2018 10:33 AM CST
Winter is a hard time for young hawks. A short while ago, a juvenile Cooper's sat for a long time on our deck railing. It acted a little dopey, just sat and let us take photos, not paying any attention to the birds on the feeders. About 30 minutes after the picture below was taken, the hawk flew straight into a window, fell to the ground, and did not recover. Its corpse was taken into the woods for the wild animals to make use of. It's been too cold for opossums to be out and about, but we have plenty of coyotes active.
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Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads Dog Lover
Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies Critters Allowed
Image
UrbanWild
Jan 7, 2018 11:45 AM CST
The Cooper's and sharp-shinned hawks are fairly tolerant of human proximitiy though some more than others.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Beavers Region: Canadian Dragonflies Butterflies Cactus and Succulents
Birds Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Deer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
JuneOntario
Jan 8, 2018 12:09 PM CST
The temperature has climbed to almost above freezing, and this morning an opossum was scavenging beneath the bird feeders. Those little naked pink feet and tail look awfully cold!
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Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads Dog Lover
Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies Critters Allowed
Image
UrbanWild
Jan 8, 2018 9:32 PM CST
Our opossum got the hawk some time between 5:30-9 pm last night. I looked all over the yard for feathers or sign but found nothing, even at the commonly used entry point. All other access requires climbing. Not impossible but our opossum tends to favor entering at a point under the south fence and has just enough room. Thought sure I'd find some sign, but nothing. That's a pretty fine meal for the opossum this time of year. Everyone's got to make a living.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE

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