7

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.

  • @Sue I went ahead and updated my question with the additional information you asked. Thank you! – Sidney Dec 12 '18 at 22:18
8

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.

5

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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