I've become an avid birdwatcher since living in the West. The San Pedro River just a little over a mile away is a spectacular highway for birds who follow it north out of Mexico. We have lots of varieties of hummingbirds, vermilion flycatchers, woodpeckers, verdins, rufous-headed sparrows, and the list goes on. My husband fills the feeders daily and we keep blocks of suet available as well. We're quite popular with the feathery crowd and always have activity at the feeders. Most days it's a relaxing pastime to watch them.
However, we also have lots of predator birds--prairie falcons, hawks, roadrunners, and owls. The falcons are pretty crafty in their hunting techniques. I've spotted them numerous times under a bush near the bird bath, waiting for an unsuspecting victim. One poor finch had a tasty breakfast at the feeder, came for drink to wash it all down, and ended up as breakfast for the falcon. Not a pleasant way to start the day.
The latest attack of the falcon came one quiet afternoon while I was chatting on the phone with one of my sisters. A pair of doves was scrounging for seeds or bugs near the vegetable garden, minding their own business when the dark shadow of the falcon swooped low for his blitzkrieg. Realizing their peril, the doves flew for their lives. However, one miscalculated and slammed into the dining room window, bouncing in front of the water feature. I believe he or she was already DOA, but the falcon pounced on it nevertheless, and an instant cloud of feathers rose up. Snatching its prey, the falcon zipped over to a clearing in the mesquites to enjoy an early dinner. Wouldn't you know it, a hawk had seen the whole affair from his perch on the electric pole. Alas, the falcon lost its dinner to the hawk, which glided down oh, so elegantly to swipe the meal. The falcon didn't even try to keep his trophy.
I'm not sure I can connect an appropriate proverb to this story - the early bird gets the worm doesn't fit and birds of a feather flock together doesn't either, nor does a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush. Maybe this one will do: watch like a hawk.