Some loose, some win.

This is the time of year when the sun gets low in the horizon. The change in light must make our windows appear clear to birds visiting our feeders. One of the visitors has learned to take advantage of this problem.

We have all sorts of birds come to our feeders — house sparrows, finches, chickadees,

Juvenile Coopers hawk builds up the nerve to go down to the Mourning dove that has been killed by flying into our windows.

nuthatches, woodpeckers —  the list goes on. One of the largest visitors is the mourning dove.

Recently we have lost birds to flying into the windows. This only began over the last few years. We put up stickers, but still they would burst skyward and smack into our windows. We finally discovered why.

Local Cooper’s hawks have learned to startle the birds at the feeders, causing them to panic and fly into spaces they’d never attempt normally — spaces filled with glass. The birds smack into the windows and are killed by breaking their necks or skulls.

Juvenile Cooper's moves closer to kill.
Juvenile Cooper’s moves closer to kill.


The Cooper’s hawks then pick up the bird, sometimes as large as they are, and fly away to enjoy their kills.

Coopers and mourning dove-10_edited-2
Juvenile Cooper’s hawk flies away with mourning dove. The hawk barely cleared the fence with its heavy load. But it took an extra turn along the back fence and made it over.


Published by Amy Law

Amy Law is a science geek. She feels about science the way some people feel about music, or art, or sports – a total and complete emotional connection. She thinks in science. For Amy, there’s nothing better than helping people see the beauty of science as she does. She loves to untangle a complicated subject into its parts, explaining it so that anybody can understand what’s happening. Let her show you her world...

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