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I put up a bird feeder in my backyard over the summer and have been enjoying taking care of the birds. Unfortunately, sometime in the fall a hawk decided to start hanging around my yard. I shoo him away but he knows where the food is at.

Initially I didn't think much of it -- circle of life and all that -- now I have a two-tiered bird feeder. Unfortunately after a few weeks of him hanging around all the little birds have stopped coming, now I just have an angry hawk who perches on my backyard fence and a bird feeder I never have to fill. I figure I need to shoo the hawk away, but how can I semi-permanently (I don't want to kill the hawk) achieve this? He's more than happy to come back the second I go back inside.

Edit to address Sue's questions, I live in a new housing development without mature trees just outside of Wichita. We have one blue spruce that is reaching about 15' but that's the only real shelter. The bird feeder is hanging from a very young oak in the back yard about 40 feet from the spruce (HOA says no bird feeders in the front yard); I'd say it's out in the open even though it's hanging from an existing tree. The hawk likes to perch on our fence which can be anywhere from 10' to 70' from the bird feeder depending on where he's sitting. I haven't noticed a pattern of when he decides to visit.

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3 Answers 3

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The hawk will leave after its food source is gone. It may not be after the small birds you are feeding, but it may be after the rodents that eat the birdseed that falls to the ground.

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By putting out food, you're feeding the prey. Encouraging the prey is effectively putting out food for the predator.

The thing to remember is that this is not a stable situation. If there's no prey for a while the predator will move on, then the prey, the birds you want, will come back.

Give it time, sometimes you'll have sparrows and blackbirds, and sometimes you'll have a hawk.

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I am so happy to hear this! I have witnessed this phenomenon in my backyard. I left town for 4 days and realized my feeders ran out while gone. I love my birds so immediately went out, cleaned all my feeders filled up my birdbaths and got my bird fountain going. I even bought an extra fancy mix online that was kind of expensive… but,Nothing!

It wasn’t long after that that I actually saw a red tailed hawk fly into my backyard just at the edge of my driveway and catch something near my forsythia bush. My yard is great camouflage right now with the leaves, but I know the Hawk can see it all. I believe the Hawk nest is in the dense woods at the back of my acre lot.

I am certain his meal was a squirrel, because there’s a big bunch of them that live in that forsythia. I just watched it all happen, stunned - as the hawk was digging into the catch with its talons, still on the edge of where my drive and yard meet.

Then, at that instant I realized, of course, the birds are not around! I was actually quite worried that maybe the hawk was what had eliminated them. But with a little bit of patience, my sweet birds have begun to come back.😊

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  • And for the record, I really love my hawk as well. I believe it’s a female, but she has appeared on a tree branch in times where I’ve needed comfort from God. I even have one of her feathers it was shed in my backyard, her tail feather And she has visited me often. The catch 22 the circle of life! Nov 10, 2023 at 16:21
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