There have been some bright spots, though...
The highlight of my week has been a new back yard regular, a young Cooper's Hawk. I'm calling her a she, because she seems pretty big, but I don't actually know for sure. Anyway, she first showed up last Sunday on my camera trap, which I had left out in the yard while I went to work.
I was psyched. I was even more psyched when three days later she showed up again and snagged a goldfinch, which she ate right out by the feeders.
She disappeared for an hour and then she was back, looking for her next snack. She took off in pursuit of a siskin and I didn't see her again.
Friday morning I opened the blinds and boom, there she was again, this time with a siskin in her talons. Here is a bad, dirty/old window shot to show how she was chowing down directly above the millet tray, leaving feathers and siskin-juice for the juncos to pick through.
Yesterday morning, after spending hours ripping up soaking wet carpet and carpet pad, I sat down to have some coffee and check out the yard. She showed up within minutes, looking for her finch breakfast.
She had no luck at the feeders or on the chain link fence so she headed to the camellia bush. I last saw her tearing across the yard in pursuit of something.
I know some folks hate having hawks in their yard but that is ridiculous. Those same people probably cry over their dead and dying siskins, whereas I have not had a dead one in at least a week.
Hopefully she will continue to keep these finch flocks healthy! Good times.