Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cooper's Hawk, Red-Tailed, and Red-Shouldered Hawk All Appear for the Count

The 2007 Great Backyard Bird Count concluded its second day at the Colvin Run Habitat. In a truly amazing display, over these two days we have seen the Cooper's Hawk, Red-Tailed, and Red-Shouldered Hawk. I filed four sets of observations with Audubon Society; here is the raptor report:
Saturday, 9:00 AM - Cooper's Hawk perches in tree
Saturday, 11:30 AM - Red-Shouldered Hawk
perches in tree, Red-Tailed Hawk flies high over head
Sunday, 8:00 AM - Cooper's Hawk
flies through below tree-top level and Red-Shouldered Hawk perches in tree
Sunday, 2:00 PM - Cooper's Hawk
flies through and perches in oak tree 25 feet from feeders
Sunday, 5:45 PM - Cooper's Hawk
perches in tree, Red-Shouldered Hawk perches in another tree
Here are some photos from the Sunday 5:45 PM. We were in the middle of a snow shower, when the Cooper's hawk perched 10 feet up in a Bradford pear tree 30 feet from the feeders. This Cooper's hawk was relatively small, and I am guessing a male. The first photo shows the Coop in the burst of snow.
After a few minutes, a red-shouldered hawk perched in the maple trees, which are about 40 feet behind where the Cooper's hawk is perched. Click on the second photo to get a larger view, then notice the red-shouldered hawk in the upper left hand corner and the Cooper's hawk in the lower right hand corner. The red-shouldered hawk was nearly twice the size of the Cooper's hawk. The red-shouldered hawk stayed less than five minutes. Pardon the quality of the red-shouldered hawk photo (thrid photo) as it was taken in the snow through two lines of tree branches.
On the other hand, the Cooper's hawk stayed nearly 30 minutes, which caused a traffic jam of cardinals afraid to go to the feeders. The second photo shows part of the cardinal gridlock. I estimated nearly 4 dozen cardinals in my count.
Finally, the snow ended and the Cooper's hawk left.

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