It’s hard for wildlife when the ground is covered with snow

hawk

We’ve had a ground cover for about 3 weeks now.  I’ve been feeding the birds every day and sometimes have a dozen doves on my back porch at once.  Plus squirrels, cardinals, blue jays, sparrows, Carolina wrens,  and the snow birds, slate colored juncos.  The birds  depend on what humans put out for them, cos there’s not much  else to find.

I was in the kitchen and there was a big amount of crow call going on.  I looked out back to see this red tailed hawk on the patio digging into the snow for a broken up chicken carcass I had thrown out there last night.  Possums and other creatures of the night usually get what meat scraps I throw out there, at least whatever the crows didn’t pick up during the daytime.

Times must be really tough, cos this guy was willing to sit out there for 10 minutes digging in, very vigilant as to anything moving around him. They don’t like to stay on the ground long, since predators could get them.  They also prefer to catch live food; one swoop and take it into a tree to eat it, where they’re safe.  But when you’re hungry and there’s chicken bones to be had, I guess you take what you can find, and take whatever chances you need to, to get food.

The crow call continued the whole time, and there were no other birds to be seen anywhere.  MaChatte was vigilant on her back window too, vibrating, cos she didn’t know birds could ever get that big.  As big as her, with bigger toe nails.   I stayed to watch this cos we don’t get good close up looks at them for very long.  I sort of caught him flying away.  Chicken bones gone,  no reason to risk sitting here any more.

birds of prey

14 responses to “It’s hard for wildlife when the ground is covered with snow

  1. Wow!! You are very right when you say times are tough. That’s a long time for a hawk to stay on the ground – especially when it’s not live prey.

    • I know, and I ran for the camera, hoping I wasn’t going to miss him and maybe he would be gone quick, but it was 10 minutes. His head was turning in all directions while he was crunching up chicken bones with that huge beak. It was all an amazing thing to see.

      • Crows won’t take on a hawk. They’re scared of them cos they could be dinner. The make a lot of noise when a hawk’s around to warn all the other animals.

      • Not near the ground. A whole bunch of crows will sometimes dive bomb a hawk in the air to try to hurt it and/or knock it down, cos they know it can’t get them flying. Other than that, they’re nowhere near a hawk. So, you’re right that they will under certain circumstances.

    • Everybody does gotta eat. It’s like a zoo around here sometimes, but I was especially glad to be able to see and watch this. Now, the snow can all go away, the rabbits can come out of hiding and he can eat what he really wants!

  2. It has been a hard winter, that’s for sure.
    A neighbor had a squirrel chew through a screen in order to eat some cheese cake that was sitting on her deck.
    Luckily, spring is ’round the corner!

    • They are willing to chew to get what they want sometimes; not always good for the humans! I hope it is around the corner cos it has been bad here, the worst I remember for a long time. Happy spring to you soon!

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