Monday, January 5, 2015

Visitor to The Edge

On the last day of last year we had a visitor to The Edge. I came up from the basement to find The Husband surreptitiously photographing this:

A young Cooper's Hawk, sitting right next to the bird feeder.

Cooper's Hawks are predators of birds, they are very fast and agile in flight and can catch songbirds on the wing. This one was watching the Pieris bush near the feeder very closely. We could see movement in the evergreen bush. I guess she was hoping to spook up some breakfast.

She did go down on the ground to see if she could scare the songbirds out. It didn't work. Here she is vocalizing her frustration (and hunger). 

This is a young bird who is probably out on her own for the first time. Her hunting technique clearly left something to be desired. The Husband and I debated setting out a Cornish Game Hen for her.

Oh, and I keep using her. The primary visual difference between male and female Cooper's Hawks is size. This one is on the large end of the size range so I'm pretty comfortable with the gender. Smaller ones are males. It's the middle sized ones that you really can't tell. I'm only comfortable guessing the extremes because I have seen (and handled) soooo many of these birds. Man, are they neurotic in the hand! 

Yes, that's right, the females are larger.


  1. I wondered how you knew so much about these Hawks, you have been handling them. I should have known.