Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cooper’s Hawk and Red-Shouldered Hawk Arrive to be Counted Again

The Colvin Run Habitat is participating in the 2007 Great Backyard Bird Count, and we hope that you are as well. This morning’s 15 minute period of counting was exceptionally exciting. I counted birds while shaving and looking out the upstairs bathroom window. It was early, so the Habitat residents had the feeders to themselves (that is, it was too early for the starlings).

The two dozen plus mix of downy woodpeckers, titmice, cardinals, wrens, and sparrows quickly flew to shelter – a sure sign that there is a hawk in the Habitat. And sure enough, within 2 seconds, a Cooper’s hawk flew from over the house and through the Habitat about 15 feet off the ground. He flew slow enough that I am not sure he was hunting or just passing through. He continued down into the meadow and found a tree to perch in.
Fifteen minutes later (literally the end of the counting period), I did a quick count and look around only to find this red-shouldered hawk perched in the side oak about 25 feet off the ground. Within a few seconds he was gone. A red-shouldered hawk was included in yesterday’s second count period as well.
I began the afternoon bird count when this Cooper's hawk paid a visit.
Of course, when this guy shows up, flies within a few feet of the feeders, and perches 5 feet of the ground and 25 feet from the feeders, he is the only bird to be counted.
He only stayed a minute, and within minutes there were tens of birds back at the Habitat feeders.

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