[Tweeters] Sharpie vs Jays

mary hrudkaj mch1096 at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 5 15:47:58 PDT 2015

The post about the Cooper's and the jays sounds just like the on-going interplay between the juvenile sharp-shinned hawk and the jays in my yard.

About a week ago the adult Sharpies brought in a kid (as they have done every fall for the past 10 years or so) to my yard to show it where the buffet is. With doves and band-tailed pigeons along with the quail and other smaller birds that are too small to interest the hawk there is plenty to eat in the yard.

Some mornings the Jay v Sharpie activity goes on for 2-3 hours before the Sharpie moves to a neighbor's yard for a bit. The jays will play a version of tag, each jay taking turns getting as close to the hawk as possible then moving briskly out of reach. I never have to look for the hawk, just watch for where the jays are being really rambunctious. Friday morning it did make it a bit harder for birders to see the quail while the hawk was around but the birders were treated to great looks at the quail, youngsters and adults.

About every other day I find poofs of gray feathers in the yard from preyed upon doves or pigeons. With the super abundance of both of those this year the hawk is not going hungry. It seems this youngster is either getting really good at its hunting skills or the prey birds are really slow.

Happy birding and may all your birds stand still long enough to be identified.

Mary Hrudkaj

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