Birds of Prey and Your Bird Feeders

Hawks and other birds of prey soaring over your bird feeder could cause anxiety for bird lovers. Despite their beauty, raptors can bring backyard gardens quickly back into the wild realities of a natural landscape. However, there are some advantages to having birds of prey nearby.

Natural security for the birds

Whether Falcon, Hawk or Owl, Birds of Prey offer a more secure sanctuary for songbirds. Although there is some risk to having them around. The risk is far smaller than the risk posed by having an over-abundance of mice, squirrels, snakes and raccoon in the area.

As natural habitats continue to be eroded, more rodents are showing up in yards and homes than ever before; because of this, more pesticides and man-made traps are finding their way into every nook and cranny of your environment. These pose a much larger threat to songbirds than the raptors they’ve dealt with throughout history. Studies have shown that songbirds with birdhouses close to nesting raptors produce healthier and more viable offspring. Having a nesting hawk or falcon in your area will do much to keep pests under control, which helps smaller birds with fewer defenses to thrive. With less time spent on protecting their nests, more time can be spent finding food to make offspring healthier.

Bird Feeders and Raptors

Hawks and many falcons will visit readily available bird feeders. By placing your feeder properly, you can feed backyard birds without worrying too much about raptors.

Birds of Prey swoop down from above to grab their lunch. Then, they quickly fly back upward, holding their prey in their talons. By keeping your feeder close to shrubbery, you can offer a perfect hiding place for other birds. Follow these additional steps to keep both raptors and songbirds safe:

  • Avoid placing feeders near trees where hawks can conceal themselves;
  • Remove feeders with frequent undesirable visitors for a few days, put it back out after a week and songbirds will typically come back without the raptor.

Stronger birds

Although it can be difficult to have a harsh predator in your garden, they are beneficial in many ways. Protecting nesting areas, picking off the weakest birds and keeping pests away from bird feeders–all ways hawks and falcons make the songbird population more robust than it would be without them.

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