On Air

Hawk VS Squirrel – Who Wins?

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Cooper's Hawk VS Squirrel, Squirrel And Hawk, Hawk And Squirrel, Cooper's Hawk

Moments after I snapped this picture of “our” Cooper’s Hawk, a gray squirrel rushed him on the branch and scared him off! (Photo: Bob Schuman)

Bob Schuman
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We’ve got a mini-wildlife refuge going at the Schuman bungalow. We’ve got four bird feeders up dispensing sunflower seeds and thistle seeds. The feeders attract house finches, gold finches, nuthatches, and of course a gazillion sparrows. The feeder also attracts cardinals, blue jays and eastern gray squirrels (both black and gray) who vacuum the grass for leftover seeds.

With all the birds hovering around the front of the house it’s a tempting smorgasbord for hungry hawks. And twice last week the birds had to fly for their lives when a Cooper’s Hawk swooped down on them. Fortunately for the little birdies the hawk didn’t catch any of them. I suspect he may be a young hawk and not the best yet at his hunting skills.

After his unsuccessful hunt in each case, the hawk flew to a low branch on a nearby tree. And this is where it gets interesting. You’d think squirrels would be afraid of a big hawk like that because hawks do enjoy a fresh squirrel dinner. But each time the hawk perched in the tree, a squirrel came running up to within three feet of him scaring the hawk off!

When squirrels sense danger, their entire community makes a loud noise as a warning. In this case, with a hawk in their midst, the squirrels sounded no alarm. Interesting, don’t you think?

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