Junco Dies and It’s My Fault

Cooper’s Hawk (1) Junco (0)

RIP Mr. Junco, I’m sorry.

This picture was taken just seconds before his death.
Now, I’m all for the Cooper’s Hawk killing it’s prey for food, don’t get me wrong, but not when it’s my fault.

Here’s what happened:
This lovely little Junco sat at my feeder to eat, but then I noticed something very, very strange. He didn’t move for a straight 10 minutes. Not one feather. Matter of fact, there is half of a seed sticking out of his bill at this point and he doesn’t flinch. I have never in my life witnessed a bird do this.

I said to my hubby, “Look at that strange Junco, He hasn’t moved for over 10 minutes….stuck stiff as a statue.”
He replied, “Maybe he’s dead.”
“No, he’s blinking his eyes.” I said.

So I took some pictures.

Then I thought…maybe there is a hawk in the area and he knows it?

Being selfish, I decided to get a bit closer to the window for a better picture. Then it happened…the Junco glanced at me, freaked out, flew under and up the pine tree and all of a sudden, the imaginary hawk I wondered if existed went in hot pursuit for the Junco and also flew under and up the pine tree. Exiting with the Junco in his talons.

The Junco had a plan. The plan was not to move and it was working. It was working for a long time. Perhaps the hawk would have given up after not witnessing movement for 15-20 minutes and flown off?

Yes, this is what the hawk does. But I’m sorry I helped him out. I’m sorry because this little Junco was using his intelligence and it was working. It worked until I got too selfish.


  1. Fascinating account. I have never seen a junco sit still before. 🙂 Now I will know the reason if I do see it sitting for a long time still.

    We had a tragedy this week too. A beautiful acorn woodpecker slammed into our window and must have broken his neck….we found him dead on the bush under the window. Too sad and we had to dispose of the broken body. Very sad.

    Makes me think of Matthew 10:29.

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  2. Oh definitely not your fault. Unfortunately such is the nature of nature. I know you feel responsible but the circle of life is bigger and more complicated than that.

    The good thing is you captured this little fella forever. Had you not taken is photo he would have left this world unnoticed. Now his essence is captured on film forever. That’s a good thing!

  3. Dawn: Thank you!

    Shelley: Yes, thanks. That’s the way it is.

    Dave: I’ll tell you one thing, if I see a “frozen” animal I will stay clear….far away!

    Barb: Oh poor little woodpecker! Wow thanks for pointing out that scripture to me…I looked it up and it is so comforting. How awesome is our God! Thanks so much!

    April: I sure hope that was the case! Thanks for your comforting words.

    Craig: Thanks and Welcome! So glad you stopped by 🙂

    JJ: I’m taking your big hug! and giving one back! Thanks so much.

    Drowsey: What you wrote is so meaningful to me, I never thought of it in that way. Now he will be remembered forever and he might just be in a future painting…that would be even better. You helped a bunch! 🙂

    Monarch: Yes, I agree. It’s so good to hear from you BTW! Hope you’re doing well.

    Joan: I sure hope so! Thanks so much it means a lot. 🙂

  4. Hey now…don’t trouble yourself about it. Life & death happen–that’s just nature. Perhaps the junco would have survived today, only to be taken tomorrow. Regardless, hawks gotta eat, too, y’know? *hug*

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