If you build it…

Remember when I said I started feeding the birds again?  This weekend is the first time I refilled one of the three feeders, the one that hangs in front of our living room window.  The two in the backyard are still full from a month ago.  It has been slow going.  But, they come occasionally, and I think once spring comes around, the birds will too.  Every evening after work I look to see if the level of seed has gone done, and any day that I am home I can’t walk walk past a window without peeking to see if they’re there.  We get very excited when we spot a bird actually using the feeders.

Today, however, brought a whole new level of HOLY COW to the bird feeding experience.

The feeder that I just refilled is literally right on the other side of the living room window, about a foot away from the window.  It hangs just above our evergreen bushes, in which the sparrows like to hang about and lounge in between feedings. In fact, when I filled the feeder yesterday, I dropped the bag of seed with a loud thud, and then jumped out of my skin as 6-8 sparrows took off to another tree that wasn’t so close to me.  We even have an occasional chipmunk that crawls up and gets its head stuck inside the feeder once it fills its cheeks, and then plummets into the bushes once it finally figures out how to pull its head out.  So there is quite a bit of movement and life around there, even when the feeding is slow going.

I was talking to my husband in the living room while my son took a nap today.  Out of the corner of my eye I could see over his shoulder and out the window to the feeder.  Mid-sentence I froze, and I think I repeated OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH a handful of times before I figured out that I should probably tell my husband to turn around.  A red-tail hawk swooped in and just sat on top of the evergreen next to the feeder, eyes fixed down to the ground, probably searching for a bird or chipmunk.  It jumped around to different parts of the bushes, flew over to the front porch, and then flew away.  I saw it later soaring over the houses behind us, still hunting.

I didn’t have my phone on me to be able to take a picture, and there is no way I was going to step away to get it, because I knew this wouldn’t last long.  So this picture is something similar to the one we saw today.  It was huge and impressive and I can’t believe it was sitting right outside my window. I’m also glad my dog is 30 pounds, because that hawk looked awfully hungry, and I would feel a little anxious about letting him out in the yard for a few days.

So, I guess I don’t quite have the bustling hot-spot of bird-feeding yards quite yet, but the cool factor of the hawk will last me a while.  Perhaps that’s why I don’t have a bustling hot-spot, maybe the little birds have been enduring close encounters with this hawk and are choosing to stay hidden.  We’ll see what the spring brings.

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