I had just refilled the bird feeders this afternoon and was enjoying the large number of visitors that were taking advantage of the sunflower seeds I had provided when there was a whoosh and everyone scattered and disappeared. I spotted a couple of feathers drifting slowly to the ground and surmised there had been an attack on the feeding birds but I couldn't spot the culprit responsible for it.
A short time later, I saw it. A Sharp-shinned Hawk swooped down in the driveway and then perched on a dead limb on the oak tree across the way. It hadn't been successful in its attempt at an afternoon meal and sat smoothing its ruffled feathers long enough for me to get my camera and snap a couple of pictures through the living room window.
A small bird (Goldfinch?) grew restless as the hawk perched near its hiding place and flew off. The hawk gave chase, but to no avail as it was out matched by the smaller bird being already in flight and in a short distance race such as this--and from a standing start--it had little chance of catching up before the smaller bird disappeared into a pine.
So the hawk continued on its way and the feeding birds came back.