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