Up Close & Personal … The Cooper’s Hawk

48 comments
In my Garden, Musings, Nature, Photography, Up Close & Personal ...

The view from my kitchen window is fabulously distracting! I was in the midst of making a salad for dinner one night recently, when I happened to glance out the window. The yard was eerily quiet and not a bird in sight! That’s when I noticed this immature Cooper’s hawk. He sat atop the bird feeder station, silently looking around for some dinner.  I grabbed my camera and took these photos through the kitchen window. This bird of prey is quite a sight! Especially in flight!

There are two smallish look-alike hawks in our area. They can be tricky to sometimes tell apart. My best guess would be that I was looking at an immature Cooper’s hawk. They have yellow eyes according to my bird guide. The other hawk I’ve seen here is the slightly smaller Sharp-shinned hawk. I don’t see either one of them very often these days. In past years, they were regular visitors and I’ve seen them nab some small birds in the yard on numerous occassions. They are quick, and strike suddenly! This time however, he saw me move near the window and instantly disappeared into the forest right after after looking straight at me!

 

 

 

Are there any predatory birds in your neighborhood?

Sabine

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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

48 thoughts on “Up Close & Personal … The Cooper’s Hawk”

  1. janesmudgeegarden says:

    He stayed for so many photos, Sabine, allowing us to have a really good look at him. We have plenty of predatory birds, although they generally don’t visit my garden. One I have is the Butcher bird. He’s quite vicious as you might guess from his name, but he has the most beautiful song, so I can almost forgive him. He’s only being himself, after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I was lucky this guy was so cooperative! I’ve watched a number of documentaries on Australia and the Butcher bird was in it. I’ve watched this hawk nab a woodpecker and small songbirds. But most of the time he leaves hungry.
      Also, I really like your latest post on the arid landscape of Australia. Great photos!

      Like

  2. Those are some INCREDIBLE photos!! I’ve never seen one of those birds except on TV. Wonder what he was looking for? I’m not going outside until the smoke clears out. Hope you are relaxing and have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tom, thanks for sending me here. This is what I saw yesterday and these shots are much more clear than mine was. I was fumbling for the camera and still a little shook up from the attack on the squirrel.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Linda! I’m glad Tom sent you this way to identify what you saw. I can understand how the attack shook you up because I’ve seen these guys nab a number of birds in the yard. I think I was able to focus in on this moment because the hawk was simply perched and checking out the surroundings. They are amazing creatures!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I’m glad Tom pointed me here as well. We all share a love of nature and it is nice to interact with others who share our interest. You did get some amazing pictures as the hawk did not see you so you were free to admire it and take photos. I am going to a few hawk events this Fall and hope to see more of them in their natural surroundings … they migrate through a big Park located on Lake Erie.

        Liked by 1 person

      • When we lived near San Francisco many years ago one of my sons became interested in birds. There always was a Audubon fall migration watch up from the Golden Gate. They would capture and tag some of the birds of prey and then explain just about everything one would want to know. It was fascinating! Fall and early spring are the main migration times and they all come through the San Francisco Bay Area because they don’t have to cross much water. This is one of my favorite bird-watching memories!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am looking forward to it and Lake Erie Metropark has several other nature trips, but I figured the Audubon fall migration trek might be more meaningful and interesting. Now that you tell me about your experience I am looking forward to it even more! They mentioned that there is a person who is the official counter and keeps track of all birds of prey who come through on the Fall migration. I saw a sign posted at the Park of his official 2017 tallies and it was impressive!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think you’ll like the bird count! Cornell University used to also have an annual backyard count that was nationwide. I’m not sure if that one still exists, but it was always fun counting and identifying all the birds visiting the feeders. Happy Bird Counting Linda!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Sabine – I hope to write about it when it happens and I will keep my fingers crossed we have good weather that day so a higher count and more sights to see and write about.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. These are amazing photos of this Cooper’s Hawk. Tom (Tom’s Nature-up-close Photography and Mindfulness Blog) suggested I check out this post after reading my recent post about my brush with a Cooper’s Hawk. I was walking in the Park where I walk daily and I love to interact with the squirrels and feed them peanuts. I had just laid some peanuts on the path for a squirrel and a flash of brown out of nowhere swooped down and went after that squirrel. I felt a little sick, but bless him, he was able to run under a picnic table in the nearby pavilion and escape the predator. I was pretty sure it was a hawk as I’ve seen a hawk gliding overhead for months. I took a picture of it, but it was blurry as I had to fumble to get the camera out and I was still shook up. But Googling later, I discovered from its markings that it was an immature Cooper’s Hawk. The tail feathers and especially the black-tipped beak tipped me off.

    Today I was checking out the Facebook neighborhood crime site for our City and discovered a long thread about hawks preying on rabbits, squirrels and small birds and the suggestion that you stay with your small pets when you put them out in the yard. Again, these are great shots. Despite being a predator, they are a beautiful bird.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Linda! Cooper’s hawks are incredible! They hardly ever seem to catch anything here, but I’ve seen them snatch small birds on several occasions over the years. I always feel badly, but I guess the hawk needs to eat as well. Your daily walk in the park sounds really nice!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do hate to see them catch anything in front of me – I know they have to eat, and I was surprised to see they are in abundance in a non-rural neighborhood like ours. I enjoy my daily walks and am off in few minutes to enjoy another one, hopefully without any horror stories to mention when I return.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was Sabine … I saw my first goldfinch this Summer. Usually there are many of them dining on the thistles this time of year, but maybe it is because we had such a late Spring and the thistle seeds are not ready for them to enjoy. There he was, the bright and colorful bird and singing so beautifully. His voice carried far in the early morning. That is why I favor morning walks – less humans and the birds and squirrels are out. The geese and ducks are molting now and have lost their flying feathers so neither have been around a good six weeks or so. We had three sets of goslings in the Park this Spring, and they hatched about two weeks apart. They will be back by Fall. The banks of the Creek are not wide enough that they can stay there while molting. They fly down to the nearby Detroit River instead.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Goldfinches are so beautiful! I finally put some thistle seed out again this summer and we’ve had quite a few come by every day. Most years we had just a few of them, if any. They also love the echinacea and Black-eyed Susan seeds to nibble on. Your park sounds wonderful with all the wildlife!

        Liked by 1 person

      • One year I tried to grow sunflowers for the goldfinches and they were about one week until the whole “pan” would be good for all different types of birds, and it fell over as it got too top heavy. I went out in the yard and the squirrels were feasting themselves silly on it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Many years ago we had a neighbor who moved here from the South. He hunted squirrels and missed eating squirrel pie. He proceeded to feed the squirrels in his yard (he had two massive trees) and then killed them while they came to eat corncobs and other treats. He was telling me that one day – after I recovered from the horror of hearing the story, I said it is illegal and cruel and if someone reports you, you’ll likely pay a fine. Maybe you can do it during hunting season – I don’t know, but slowly the squirrel population returned to normal in our neighborhood again. I can’t tell you how horrified I was to hear this.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Me too Sabine. I wish you could have seen the look on my face when I found out, but apparently he lived on private property down South and was allowed to shoot squirrels and possums. We have a catering company here in Southeast Michigan where I live and they are famous for their muskrat dishes. I was surprised to hear that, but muskrats are in abundance here thanks to our many waterways. They are known around the State of Michigan.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know! I almost didn’t send you the post as you could tell from the shape of it what it was and it seemed a little horrifying to me too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • No! When I met my husband 38 years ago he was a vegetarian. So I decided it would be easier if we both ate the same meals. We raised our kids this way, and our reasons over the years evolved. But I wouldn’t have wanted to do it any other way! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t say I would miss meat and it is just me preparing food as I have no family. That makes sense not to prepare different meals. I only eat chicken or salmon (canned salmon). I don’t know any vegetarians but I did used to work with a guy who was a vegan and had been for years.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Same here! I hate it when the hawks makes off with a bird or any other critter, but it’s their only way to eat and survive. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 40 years since I do have a choice. Over the years, a number of our friends have become vegetarians as well. I like that! 😊

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  4. There are hawks living in our neighborhood. When walking to the park, if the birds are noisy the raptors are elsewhere. But, when it’s silent, they’re looking for a meal! Great capture on the photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. chrisitne hoex says:

    Awesome pictures! I saw a small hawk flying low over the nursery at Friedmans yesterday. Was not able to identify. The air quality has been terrible here and hot, so maybe he was looking for water.

    Liked by 1 person

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