Posted by Robert Mortensen
Suddenly, I heard a loud commotion at my BT3-inspired backyard brush pile. I looked back just in time to see a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk miss its prey and alight in my tree. It remained perched there for sometime and I was able to snap the photos posted here.
I had returned to the car battery replacement when another irruption of birds occurred at the brush pile. I turned to find two juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawks in flight trying to steel food from a large adult Sharpie perched on our dilapidated tree house with a House Sparrow clutched in its deadly talons. I went for my camera hoping to photograph the breakfast being consumed as well as the juveniles trying to get some samples. The adult darted off to a nearby pine tree that fortunately did not come down during the recent wind storm. So I missed the photographic opportunity. Through my binoculars I was able to watch as the House Sparrow complete its circle of life.
Observing this backyard birding event leaves me wondering...and maybe some knowledgeable birders out there can weigh in...are the two juveniles the offspring of the adult? and are they still dependent on the adult for some of the food as they are not yet as skilled hunters? Is it normal for juveniles to still be around adults this late in the year? or was this all simply a chance encounter of three Sharpies?