Cooper’s Hawk

I really enjoy Saturday and Sunday mornings when the birds are fluttering back and forth between the back row of trees and bushes and our bird feeders.  There have been days — not recently, though — when I’ve sat in a chair pulled close to the sliding glass door in our sunroom and watched the birds for hours.  I love the spontaneity and the surprise involved in watching and photographing wildlife like this unexpected guest:

It swooped in “from nowhere,” chased a few small birds into the green evergreen trees, banged around in the heavy brush causing the branches to sway as if a squirrel was jumping from branch to branch, and flew out empty-handed to rest on the tree branch as pictured above.  After some quick research in a birding guide that I received for Christmas, I learned that this beautiful and very pesky bird is called a Cooper’s Hawk.

Cooper’s Hawks prey on small backyard birds, especially in yards like ours that feature natural feeding sources, a.k.a., bird feeders.  Fortunately for the birds, the Cooper’s Hawk was unsuccessful on its FIRST try.

Patiently, it observed and watched with its radar-like eyes for about 3 minutes or so.  I kept clicking away portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) shots with my camera when something told me, “Get ready, it’s gonna burst into action!”  Just then, it sling-shot off the small branch and took flight toward another dense shrub on the side of our house.

By the time I unlocked the sliding glass door and ran to the right side of the house, the hawk was nowhere to be seen.  I’m not sure how if its SECOND attempt was more productive than its first or if the small birds escaped its pursuit and won out once again.

Nature and wildlife photography is thrilling, adventurous, and so rewarding!

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4 Comments on “Cooper’s Hawk”

  1. Michael Potter says:

    Doug,
    You are man of many talents! Great work!

  2. blegere says:

    Have you ever gone up to the Hawkwatch at Braddock Bay? Not as glorious as in your oown back yard but you’ll see 100’s of hawks go by in an hour!


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