bruce-church (https://bruce-church.myopenid.com/) has left a new comment on your post "Going Galt with Bird Feeding":
Update on feeding hawks and owls, oops, I mean squirrels and rabbits.
Sometimes we saw six or seven squirrels at one time out the back window. They weren't all eating at once, but were waiting their turn. Then we noticed a hawk, maybe an adult Cooper's Hawk since it had the white spotted underbelly and dark cap and wings, sitting on a branch in the next yard for an hour.
We never see the capture, of course, but there seems to be one or two fewer big squirrels. Suddenly they are only eating three cobs of corn per day instead of nearly four, and the smaller squirrels get much more time eating the cobs than before. In fact, glancing out once and a while at the spinner, one wonders if the smaller squirrels even survived the winter, but now they are back.
It would be lucky if we saw any capture. Last year we saw a hawk flying out of the yard two houses down, and then we witness the same events--fewer squirrels and smaller ones feeding more. The biggest squirrel was never seen again. By the end of winter there are only 4 squirrels left eating two cobs per day. By the way, our next door neighbor has a pooch they let out at all times of the day and night, and we warn them about owls and hawks.
Each year we wonder if we picked enough cobs of corn at the rate of 4 per day to last the winter, but then the hawks get us out of a bind by getting the largest squirrels. It seems they sit on a branch motionless for an hour or more scoping out the largest meal before striking. The spinner is positioned several yards from a tree and doubtless attracts attention from above, and the large squirrels hogging the cobs means they are more likely to become supper.
The spinner also attracts rabbits and owls. The squirrels leave many kernels on the ground and snow, and rabbits visit the spot each night. When snow is in the air, it creates a glow of light from street lights, and that is when rabbits can best be seen at night. Unlike the silent hawks, the owls hoot and thus one knows they are perched nearby. Perhaps they hoot to stir rodents into moving, thereby spotting them. One would be lucky to see an owl take a rabbit, but one can assume. Also, we never see rabbits during the daytime anymore. The diurnal rabbits may have all been taken by hawks.
Anyway, I love seeing and helping the hawks and hearing the owls, so PETA can come and get me :)