Cooper’s Hawk

Young Hummingbirds (in my previous post) aren’t the only juvenile visitors to my backyard. There was a family of Cooper’s Hawks nesting somewhere in the wooded area near my home. One or two would come close on occasion and there was a period when I could hear the young hawk begging food from the parents. Cooper’s Hawks primarily hunt other birds. So regular visitors to my feeders were cautious but I don’t think any diners became lunch. The smaller birds are less threatened than the larger birds like Blue Jays. So it is interesting that one of the Blue Jays now imitates the Cooper’s Hawk call. They are clever birds like their cousins, crows and ravens. This Jay apparently uses the call to help scatter the other birds so it can take over the feeders. They are quite the bullies.

This is one of the adults that landed in a tree about 60 feet from the feeders. These are accipiters and have that long tail to help them make quick maneuvers while chasing another bird.

The young hawk was in the trees when I was out in the yard and was more upset than scared. It flew around in the canopy, calling and scolding. It finally showed itself before giving up the effort to move me. It stared at me for a few seconds and then flew away.

I’m almost as excited as the feeder birds when I see a hawk. But not for the same reason of course. I like getting the photographs. They don’t want to be food. Fortunately there doesn’t seem to be evidence of much predation at the feeders. The feeders would have to come down down for a few days so the hawks would move on if I did notice a problem.

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