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Predators of Wild Birds:
The Truth of the Matter

animated image owl

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.


animated image coon

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.

animated image cat <IMG SRC=

Cats are on the prowl day & night, ending the lives of a bird family. A parent bird gathering food for its young and ambushed by a domestic cat. The nestlings have no warmth or starve. Some birds only have 1 parent bird to care for the nestlings. Others have both parents but if something happens to one parent the young suffer from lack of food.
I have experienced many times: a young baby robin having its first flight out of the nest to the ground and there is the cat coming to get it. I have saved a couple, but the majority were lost to the neighbors cats. Cats have have climbed upon the roof of a house jumped to a tree limb and another family of birds nest is gone or a bird sleeping in the tree.

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. image squirrel
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.


image cowbird, chipping sparrow
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. image cowbird, chipping sparrow
photo by D. D. Bulmer 1998

Chipping Sparrow feeding young larger Cowbird

animated image snake

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

stagnet water

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

Remember :
Give a Hoot
Don't Pollute !
image owl

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