Chicago bird feeders becoming popular dining spot for hawks

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Chicagoans who have bird feeders in their yards may not know it but they are feeding birds in more ways than they know.

Experts say that hawks are making a comeback in the area and they are increasingly dining on the sparrows, doves and cardinals that stop by bird feeders to enjoy seeds people leave there. 

Just how many Cooper's hawks and other woodland hawks that once pretty much stuck to big, uninterrupted forests are making their way to the big city is unknown. But University of Wisconsin professor of forest and wildlife ecology Benjamin Zuckerberg tells the Chicago Tribune that the percentage of bird feeder watchers who have spotted a hawk has jumped from 20 percent in the 1990s to about 70 percent today.