Sunday, January 28, 2007

Male Cooper's Hawk Visits

While looking for the fox from the upstairs window this morning, I noticed that there were no birds at the feeders – a sure sign that a hawk was in the Habitat. A quick look yielded no hawk. Opening the window, putting my head completely out the window, and turning left (north), I saw this hawk perched about 50 feet off the ground.
Most likely a male Cooper’s Hawk (smaller than our earlier Cooper’s Hawk - the female is noticeable larger than the male), he flew down over the feeders and landed in the Habitat oak tree.
He stayed in the oak for well over an hour – long enough for the smaller songbirds to return to the feeder. Even though his back was to the feeders, I was truly amazed that the other birds game to the feeders and were active through out the Habitat. A few brave birds, such as this titmouse shown in the second photo (click on photo to get an enlarged version)(note titmouse in upper right corner and hawk in lower left corner), even perched and chirped in the oak not far from the hawk. Remember that the Cooper’s Hawk preys on these smaller song birds.
I finally left my position in the upstairs window and approached him, walking slowing on the ground. He was perched about 20 feet off of the ground well inside the maze of oak branches. He allowed me to get directly under him and take photos.
Prior to flying away, he turned and showed off his back and tail feathers (as seen in the last photo).

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