I knew some flying predator had tried to catch something in our yard when about noon yesterday I saw a very distinctive pattern in the snow in our back yard. I was just looking at it wondering whether daytime hawk or nighttime owl when my question on “who done it” was answered.
Then and today, just after noon, a Sharp-shinned Hawk has arrived in our yard, scared away the redpolls, perched on the feeder poles and made periodic aerial dashes toward the redpolls when the redpolls returned to the feeders and to the areas of the yard where there is seed on the snow. The redpolls seemed to ignore the hawk until it came after them. Then they scattered to unseen places, returning 20-30 minutes later.
After one dash across the yard the Sharpie perched in our neighbor’s spruces. I was able to get a blurry picture of it there and a couple of blurry pictures of the redpolls at our porch feeder with a more focused hawk visible in the background in the spruces, watching the redpolls.
The hawk also came back at dinnertime yesterday.
So far I haven’t seen any of the redpolls get caught.
I have included a short video of the hawk intently scanning our yard.