We estimate there were between 50 and 100 song birds in the pile at the time. The hawk was obviously looking for dinner, but was too big to make it further into the pile to get at his prey. After a few minutes, four or five birds took off and the hawk was after them in a flash, and was quickly out of our sight. A couple more minutes went by and the smaller birds left the brush pile in two waves, dozens of them rising up together. Others stayed put.
It makes you wonder- were the first few birds that left putting themselves in harm's way to protect the rest of the flock?
We were surprised when the hawk came back a few minutes later- his chase must not have been successful. Perhaps our brush pile has been his hunting ground recently and we haven't noticed. We decided to go outside, in an attempt to get better pictures, and to encourage the hawk to leave. We don't want him to feast regularly at our backyard smorgasbord. We also thought about seeing what would happen if we threw him some meat from the fridge (Bear wondered about mice in the basement), but decided we shouldn't...
Below are some fuzzy close ups of the hawk. Maybe a red-tail?