Birds of Prey:

Owls and hawks are predators not only to rodents on our properties but also to the smaller birds such as the sparrows or chickadees. Owls typically eat mostly mice, moles, shrews, rats, gophers, squirrels and only a small part of it’s food is birds some of which are grouse, quail, jays, cardinals, crows and small birds as shown in the “What Birds Owls Consume” table.

What Birds Owls Consume
Barn Owl Pigeons, jays, Green Herons, sparrows, Grackles, starlings, meadowlarks, flickers, Bluebirds, swallows, towhees
Barred Owl Doves, grouse, quail, flickers, crows, jays, Cardinals
Burrowing Owl Sparrows, vireos, meadowlarks, Horned Larks
Great Horned Owl Grebes, ducks, geese, bitterns, rails, coots, grouse, Mourning Doves, meadowlarks, juncos, sparrows, robins, mockingbirds, jays, flickers
Hawk Owl Ruffed Grouse, sparrows
Long-eared Owl Starlings, Blue Jays, Cardinals, towhees, juncos, Horned Larks, Red-winged Blackbirds, meadowlarks, Brown Thrashers, Bluebirds, American Goldfinches
Saw-whet Owl Sparrows, juncos
Short-eared Owl Meadowlarks, Savannah Sparrow, Sharp-tailed Sparrows, other sparrows
Screech Owl Ruffed Grouse, pigeons, quail, Eastern Phoebe, Horned Lark, Blue Jay, starling, blackbirds, American Goldfinch, juncos, sparrows
Snowy Owl Grebes, ducks, coots, sandpipers, crows

There are many species of hawks that eat birds also. The following table shows the feeding habits of some hawks:

Birds of Prey
Food Category in Percentages
Insects Rats/
Aquatic Small
Poultry Game
Red-shouldered Hawk 32 28 25 5.3 6.0 1.4 .9 .9
Red-tailed Hawk 10.5 55 6.1 1.5 9.2 6.3 2.1 9.3
Rough-legged Hawk 6.5 72 2.1 2.2 4.3 4.3 8.6
Broad-winged Hawk 39.7 23 30.9 2 3.4 .5 .5
American Kestral 63.5 20.3 7.8 8.4
Sharp-shinned Hawk .7 2.6 .1 96.4 .1 .1
Cooper’s Hawk 3.3 17 1 55 10 12 1.7
Marsh Hawk 3.3 33 4.1 .1 41 2.3 7.2 9

Based on studies made by the US Department of Agriculture
Cats and Dogs:

The most serious problem to birds are cats which are known to capture birds even from the nest. Homeless cats are most destructive at night and early morning hours.

Dogs tend to be less serious due to their inability to catch birds, but still pose a threat. Dogs should not be unattended during the nesting season since they pose a problem for ground-nesting birds.

Wild Animals


Some bird nests are destroyed by foxes, opossums, weasels, racoons and snakes and waterfowl and game birds suffer loss from raccoons and foxes.


It’s hard to believe that even Humans are predators to birds. Direct destruction of birds occurs when they are killed for food, feathers, sport and even museum specimens. During hunting season, birds are often killed by hunters simply because they offer a moving target and sometimes birds are killed by us just simply driving our cars.