Predators of Wild Birds:
The Truth of the Matter
Owls, Hawks & Falcons can be a threat to the birds in your yard. I have had problems with sevral at one time. They have chased birds and the hawk hit the house window, ran into a mesh satellite dish. Woodpeckers have been lost due to hawks and falcons. The introduction of hawks into the city to rid pigeons have caused the close suburban areas to have more hawks. It's not a pleasant sight to see your state bird vanishing from over abundance of predators. You will not see any birds at your feeding when hawks are lingering around. Hawks will sit and hide in trees then dive to capture an unsuspecting victim. Owls hunt at night and find the birds sleeping in the trees.
Raccoons have been
multipling and there has been an epidemic of rabies the past several years
in the north eastern area of the United States. Of course automobiles have
taken the toll on some crossing the road too. At night the "coons"
roam and climb in the trees and find the nesting birds and then rare or
non-rare species are distroyed or badly injured. They also will eat the
sunflowers seeds out of your feeder, also they have damaged the feeders.
If you have a vegetable garden they will dig it up looking for bugs of
anything else in the dirt.
|Squirrels & chipmunks are predators to the birds too. Besides eating with them at the feeders, they have stolen eggs from the nest or bird house or eaten the new hatchlings. Over abundance of any one species can be harmful. I personally saw in the summer of 1999 a small red squirrel making a meal of a young mourning dove who was just learning how to get around on its own. Also the larger fox squirrel making prey of two young robins who where almost ready to venture from the nest. Squirrels are agressive.||
photo by D.D. Bulmer 1998
A Fox squirrel in Seed
Roadrunner is not the sweet bird from the Warner Brothers cartoons. If you live in the South west of United States you will know of the Road Runner. It's diet included other birds, besides eating rattle snakes, lizards & bugs. It hid behind the wall near the bird feeder. It jumped up and snatched one of the song birds that came to the bird feeder or landed on top of the fence. The roadrunner would run then leap and fly down over the hill side.
photo by D. D. Bulmer 1998
|Crows, Jays, Grackles, Cowbirds raid the nest of other birds. Jays and grackles have pecked new nestling or young birds - just learning how to fly and find food for themselves. They feed them to their young. Cowbirds do not make a nest of their own. Other smaller birds "adopt" the eggs they laid in the nests of wrens, or song sparrows that the cowbird finds and tosses out the eggs of the nest owner. The photo is of the small size chipping sparrow foster parent feeding a young cowbird that had hatched in the chipping sparrow nest.||
photo by D. D. Bulmer 1998
Chipping Sparrow feeding young larger Cowbird
|Snakes are also predators of the birds. They crawl up into the trees and raid the nest. Young birds and the eggs are eaten and sometimes kill or injure the parent. There is a risk of having a pet snake especially not native to your area that gets loose and wipes out the natural wildlife. There is a problem of snakes in Guam. They are loosing the natural tropical birds and also a threat to Hawaii due to snakes. Snake get on board of the airlines somehow, by crawling into the planes or illegal trading of reptiles by people. Beware of the trouble it is causing.|
to Bird Feeding Greetings - Feeders
More Problems: Hazzards For Birds
anti freeze from automobiles - clean up any spills
unclean bird baths
drowning in too deep of water container
moldy bread - don't feed it to the birds
doughy bread- toast it if is soft- they may choak
unclean bird feeders- germs & molds gather
insecticides - try not to use them if you feed birds in your yard
fertilizers- Some are not even safe to humans
Give a Hoot
Don't Pollute !
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