Now starring, at the feeder…

KODAK Digital Still Camera

A Cooper’s hawk! This one was photographed in Hanover, outside the director of education’s dining room window.

Throughout the year you may find one of these characters at your feeders, or perhaps just evidence of their passing in the form of clumps of feathers torn from smaller birds. How do you dissuade them from eating your chickadees and goldfinches? Stop feeding the birds for about two weeks. They’ll find food elsewhere (we provide only about a quarter of their diet once they find us) and the Cooper’s hawks will move on. They won’t “get the hint” – they have no inclination as to our motives – but will see your backyard as no longer a viable feeding ground.

During this time, clean out and sanitize your feeders, then put them back out at the end of the two weeks. Your little friends will return, no worries.