Cooper’s Hawk

The Cooper’s Hawk is a fast and agile bird hunting raptor. They are common woodland hawks in the United States and are year round residents in most states. Some will only spend the summer along in the northernmost part of the US and the southern part of the western Canadian provinces. Some will migrate into Mexico for the winter. But they are not a long distant migrant. They prowl around wooded areas looking for small birds. They are fast fliers and agile enough to maneuver through the tree canopies. It’s a bit risky though as scientists have found healed fractures, mostly in the chest, in 23% of the Cooper’s Hawks they have examined.

There is a probable nesting pair living the woods near my home. They do check out the feeders on occasion but the local birds know that the hawks are around and are pretty alert. This is an immature hawk that I found sitting just outside my front door. It wasn’t too concerned as I watched and photographed it through the door. It gave me a bit of mean look and flew away after a few minutes.

The next day I could hear a whistling call in the nearby woods. What was probably the same bird was perched about 30 feet (9 meters) off the ground. It pretty much ignored me as I walked up and took its photo.

Cooper’s Hawks can be as large as a crow. As with most raptors, the female is significantly larger than the male. This individual was a female based on size and the type of call it was making.

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