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A hawk has started hunting the feeder birds in my yard. What can I do?

A hawk stands on a backyard fence looking down.
Just as birdseed attracts small birds, those birds may attract hawks like this Cooper’s Hawk that is checking out the birds at a backyard feeder. Photo by Vanessa Hardy via Birdshare.

Hawks that feed on birds apparently take the term bird feeder at face value. If you want to discourage the hawk, you’ll have to take your feeders down for a few days, until the smaller birds disperse.

In the wild, birds face constantly fluctuating food supplies, so songbirds, doves, and hawks alike will know to search for food elsewhere. Put your feeders up again in a week or two. If you’re lucky, the songbirds and doves will quickly return but the hawk will have found hunting grounds somewhere else. You can learn more about feeder problems and solutions at our Project FeederWatch web site.

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American Kestrel by Blair Dudeck / Macaulay Library