Warning – this is not a happy story for the robin.
Whenever I look out in the backyard and see no birds or squirrels, I know Something is around. Maybe a hawk, maybe a cat. Something. Never a dog – they are such announcers of their presence that squirrels run off, but birds don’t bother. And the deer – folk just feed around them, most of the time. And there is never that feeling of primordial silence as when a predator is on the move.
A few days ago, I saw blue jay feathers at the foot of the safflower seed feeder. They are so bold, those beautiful jays, and so raucous – it gets them in trouble sometimes.
Sunday morning – such a cold morning – I saw a big hawk perched on a limb, intent on what he had in his claws. Colored like a Cooper’s hawk – deep blue gray feathers, gray beige front, but larger. I grabbed the binoculars in the desk (I have them in the kitchen, too). It was a dead robin. Clearly a midmorning snack for the Hawk, who was pulling off shreds to eat.
Hard to see, but okay, too. It is the Circle of Life. With chickadees feeding, knowing Hawk was occupied. And, 10 minutes later, with Hawk and his prey vanished, 4 or 5 robins at the various feeders and on the patio.