Red Tailed Hawk Downtown London Ontario

by Howie & Vera
(London, Ontario, Canada)

We live on Wharncliffe Road, the busiest street in London, Ontario, within walking distance of the downtown core.

Wharncliffe Road used to be the original highway running through London before they built highway 401.

In our backyard we have around 8 different types of bird feeders, squirrel feeders, bird baths, corn hangers etc., and the visitors who frequent our backyard regularly include Blue Jays, Cardinals, wood-peckers, Hummingbirds, orioles, finches, Squirrels, Chipmunks, moles, ducks, skunks, Raccoons, rabbits and a Groundhog.

We hang most of the feeders from our small apple tree and this summer while my husband was in the yard a huge Red Tailed Hawk swooped down and snatched a mourning dove off the ground just a few feet from my husband. It was crazy.

That was our first sighting. Since then, we have witnessed a Red Tailed Hawk in our backyard at least six times and groups of them circling overhead daily.

On one occasion, a Red Tailed Hawk sat on the roof of our neighbour’s small car. Our neighbourhood has a laneway in the back and we were able to walk up to it.

We were only 10 feet from the Red Tailed Hawk, it was massive and my husband took a photo of it.

I was worried about it preying on the squirrels (we are squirrel freaks and feed them from our hands) so I started clapping loudly and it still wouldn't budge. It was staring into my eyes then flew directly at me and took off over my head. This terrified me.

One morning I heard all this commotion (animals squawking) and looked out our bedroom window which faces the backyard only to meet eye to eye with the Red Tailed Hawk. It was perched on our apple tree, whose tree top is exactly at eye level with our bedroom
window. The Red tailed Hawk was staring directly at me.

I banged on the bedroom window and it flew away. There was a squirrel hiding in the hollow of the branch (where the Hawk was perched). It came out shortly after and ran off scared. This is a common hollow for the squirrels to crawl into. I believe the Hawk was preying on the squirrel.

I have spotted the Red Tailed Hawk perched on the telephone pole in the laneway, the top roof peak of our house and our backyard fence, all within close proximity to us while sitting outside during the summer months.

I am not sure if it’s the same hawk. Last week (now winter) when I went out to look through our sun-room window after putting peanuts out and seed, a Red Tailed Hawk was perched on the fence to the right of me within feet from my face. It terrified me once again. It was preying on a squirrel. I banged on the window and it took off.

I find this troubling. I don’t want them preying on the animals outback and though I know I am drawing them in by feeding the animals thus creating an ideal preying ground, I don’t want to take the feeders and food away.

And now, I have also been spotting a Sharp Shinned Hawk (smaller hawk) in the backyard on a regular basis for the past two weeks. Yesterday it killed a small bird. Today my husband spotted the Hawk again. This time it was in the tree at the front of our house.

We’re downtown, pretty crazy. Anyhow, here are three pictures my husband took on his phone of the Hawk flying away. Hope it stays away and preys elsewhere.

Wow, thank you Howie & Vera, for such an information packed report!

I know our readers will enjoy this as much as I have - thanks again!

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