How to keep hawks from devouring your bird feeder friends

The basic strategy–aside from being there to spook the hawk–is to make sure your little birds have an easy escape route.

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Chemists working on not killing other wildlife with rat poison

Ferringous Hawk

So far there aren’t any good alternatives, but scientists have shown anticoagulants go farther than feared in birds of prey.

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Squinty possum, Pink Meanie jellyfish, Manatees at heater and a tour of other animal news.

German loves Heidi, a cross-eyed North American possum. Gulf of Mexico has new species: pink meanie jellyfish. Parrot does math for seeds. Manatees huddle in fake warmth.

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Mickey, black silly squirrel, dies months after hawk attack

Avoacadoface Mickey

Mickey, the black squirrel with ingrown teeth I took care of for a few months earlier this year, has died. Mickey had increasingly worse seizures and wasn’t responding to medicine, the wildlife rehabilitators who took her in said. Eventually they sadly had to euthanize her.

Mickey came to me from Peter Richter, a hawk-watcher and blogger, who knew Mickey as a cheeky character at a Queens community garden. Mickey took nuts by hand, much braver than her squirrel companion. Mickey tried to fight off a red-tailed hawk and ended up falling. My theory was that she broke her top teeth, which her big bottom teeth need to grind against.

Peter nervously watched her decline and brought her to me just in time. She was cold, had lost weight, was covered in mites and her bottom teeth were growing into her top gums. I clipped her teeth and she regained her strength eating mushy foods like avocado.

I got to know and like Mickey. She was easy to handle, almost like a released pet. I wondered if she wanted to be treated like a pet. I hugged her. She peed on me. I stopped trying to cuddle her, but she always did like a back scratch. I thought she’d like to be a mom to orphaned baby squirrels. Nope. She carried them out of her house and attacked them. She would stomp around her cage if she thought it was time for food and I wasn’t providing

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Hawk stares at cat through fire escape window

hawkchristmastree

A red-tailed hawk perched on an air conditioner stares at a pet cat inside a NYC apartment in a photo by Ada Nieves.

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Bolsa Chica: on the Wetlands – Wasteland Border

Great blue heron

For a seemingly desolate wasteland that is backed by oil fields, a couple busy roads and suburban sprawl, the Bolsa Chica Wetland has surprisingly a lot of wildlife.

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USDA Kills Another 4 million animals, including 477 dogs and 1,991 feral cats

Coyote

You know how Americans are appalled every time there’s a story out of China or Iraq about the government thugs primitively rounding up dogs and shooting them? Well, we do that, too. On purpose. Federal agents are out there killing dogs, more than one a day. They shot 157 dogs to death. And it’s not just in the yahoo states out west, either. (Although Texas and Arizona are the top states of dog-killing.) The USDA somehow insinuated itself into dog situations in 32 states. They went out and shot two dogs in Ohio and 30 in California. And it wasn’t because they feared they were rabid, either. They only tested 14 dogs for rabies.

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Raptor Fest 2010: Escape to New York City

Ferringous Hawk

For 13 years Hawk Creek wildlife sanctuary near Buffalo has been hauling a vanload of eagles, hawks, falcons, owls and assorted big bird oddities across the state to give New York City residents a little taste of the wild.

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Hawk Expert Says Attacking CT Hawk May Have to Be Removed–or at Least Scared

The red-tailed hawk that’s been swooping down on people in leafy Stonington, CT, may have to be trapped and removed, says Len Soucy, a wildlife rehabilitator, founder of New Jersey’s Raptor Trust, and one of the world’s most experienced  hawk experts.

“When there’s a nuisance hawk, I relocate it,” Soucy says, “so people don’t hate all the hawks on earth because one hawk is acting foolish.”

Soucy has the traps, permits and experience to trap a red-tailed hawk, but it’s still a last resort. The hawk is probably protecting his territory in advance of nesting season, which starts over the next couple months, he says. He might try to condition the hawk with loud noise first, a process that can take a while work.

Birders travel great distances to see hawks, but this particular CT hawk in will come directly to you. And then he’ll swoop at your head and maybe steal your hat or headphones, the Day reports. The bird has attacked five times since last summer, mostly on the cul de sac of Shawondasee Drive and Carriage Drive. The nearby Deans Mill School now has recess and gym inside, though, just in case.

Hawk attacks on people and pets may continue to rise along with the numbers of red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) . (They’re one of the many birds recovered thanks to bans on DDT and reactionary killing of birds of prey.)  Soucy says he’s gotten two reports of similarly belligerent hawks in New

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Score One for Team Squirrel

The Tompkins Square Park squirrels bravely stand up to the new, popular red-tailed hawk pair on the Lower East Side. The hawks appearance on Saturday Night Live doesn’t intimidate them, either. The squirrels know that if they are in a tree, the hawks can’t swoop down and catch them.

So if the hawk lands in a tree the squirrels eagerly do their part to chase him off. They’re in the anti-hawk union with crows and jays, who mob the raptors. Because they all know if they don’t, the hawk will eventually catch one of them.

The squirrel can do considerable damage to a hawk by biting its feet, which may then become infected. The squirrel made the hawk uncomfortable enough to go back on its heels, change branches, then fly off. He flew to another tree, where another member of the anti-hawk union started to drive him away.

Where to See Hawks and Eagles

To see more animals go to animaltourism.com