I maintain a number of feeders and birdbaths and, in return, my avian visitors repay me with a glimpse into their lives. Playing, talking, mating, fighting - sometimes all at the same time! To contribute to their survival in this small way feels right and good.
So why, when a hawk swoops in to prey on them, am I rooting for the hawk?
This past summer, two juvenile Cooper's hawks learned to hunt in my backyard. Their mother would glide in, quiet as a whisper, and perch, invisible, in a tree. Her offspring, on the other hand, would announce their presence with excited squawks and a noisy flapping of wings before taking their position on the fence. The birds, of course, scattered to the four winds, laughing their heads off.
I was laughing too - at the same time that I was urging them to "Be quiet!" "Get in a tree!" "For Pete's sake, be a hawk!"