A Predatory Visitor to the garden

hawk-on-fenceOver the weekend I had a interesting visitor to the garden.  After much research online I think this is a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk.   Of course I could be wrong with the identification so feel free to correct me.  I am no expert on birds but am always eager to learn whatever knowledge can be passed along my way.  Wish I could of gotten a better photo of  it.  I was looking out the kitchen window yesterday morning when it flew into my patio and landed in the wheelbarrow of firewood I keep by the back door.  Of course I was quite excited so I ran to grab my camera but it was hard to take a picture of it through the window so I tiptoed outside.  Unfortunately not quietly enough because it quickly flew over to the fence post.  This photo has been enlarged so you could see the beautiful markings on the back & tail.  From what I gathered online they feed on medium sized birds and small mammals such as voles and mice.  I’ve seen several of these this winter swooping into my yard which sends the birds at the feeders into a frenzy of flight.  They have become quite common in suburban and urban areas over the years.  Hopefully my feeders haven’t become a convenient buffet for their appetite.  Nature is violent and beautiful all rolled into one package.  For more information about this particular breed of birds you can go here.

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29 responses to this post.

  1. How cool is that. Isn’t it hard to let nature do it’s thing.

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  2. I just finished editing some shots of a Harris Hawk that hung around one Saturday morning. He/She was scoping out our little dog! Yikes!

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  3. Posted by greenwalks on January 26, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Hawks are so magnificent but it’s hard to watch them catch a feeder bird. Everyone’s gotta eat, but it isn’t always pretty, is it?!

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  4. Hawks are very fast! We have several around here too. Have only seem them scoop up a snake and a squirrel. YIKES! You can hear the squirrels chatting when there is a Hawk in the area, it’s a different sound and then yep, we see the Hawk.

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  5. Good Morning Racquel, pretty cool picture. I understand about trying to catch a quick picture of these guys. It is intersting to see them. I use the Cornell Bird site to do my ID’s, will have to look at the one you mentioned.
    Janet

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  6. The same thing happened here. There was a hawk picking apart a small bird at the back of my fence. Guess they don’t all fly south for the winter. You got a better photo than I did. Thanks for posting this, they’re very pretty birds.

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  7. I love to see the hawks around here. A couple years ago, one landed on our deck rail. It was magnificent. I just froze on my chair in my livingroom, as the deck is right off the livingroom patio doors. He sat for awhile and then took off. I loved watching him up close.

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  8. That is exciting for all. Especially the poor little birds. I’d like to see the voles get excited too.

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  9. We see hawks quite often. I think because we live close to a lake. One year our trees in back were loaded with birds and a hawk swooped down and grabbed one and flew off. Luckily it was my husband that witnessed this. I would have been frantic! I do enjoy watching the hawks in the sky though.

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  10. That does look like a Cooper’s. Well done! I have one that hangs around pretty regularly near my feeder.

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  11. Nice. That is the second Cooper’s Hawk I’ve seen posted about this week. Around here we have a red tailed hawk that I see occasionally. I used to feed the birds years ago, but I quit when I saw what looked like an explosion of feather in my garden. I still grow plants for the birds, but the bird feeder seemed like too much of a temptation. Don’t get me wrong. I love seeing the hawk. I just wanted to level the playing field a little.

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  12. Impressive Racquel, they are such a magnificent birds./ Tyra

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  13. Racquel,
    We had some kind of hawk in our garden a few months back. Now that he’s thinned out the doves he appears to have moved on.

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  14. That would be pretty neat to see that close. They don’t land in our yard but one swooped after a mockingbird just over our heads once. Birds are so fun to watch!

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  15. Nature balancing act, I know. We have a red-tailed hawk family. Once in awhile, one comes in to get a bird, rather than a squirrel, from our butterfly garden.

    Cameron

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  16. Beautiful bird and they are so fast! I wish they could get a few rodents from this garden. ! Sometimes I can hear their call as they circle over head. gail

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  17. To me Hawks are such amazing birds. I love to watch them fly without hardly moving a wing. We live next to a field so they are always out there looking for food.

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  18. The Cooper’s hawks around here usually leave empty handed. They seem to want fast food, (quick and easy meal), and are not very thorough hunters from what I’ve observed.

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  19. “Synchronicity” .. there was a wounded hawk on our street yesterday, looked like it had an injured wing. A couple very gently through a blanket over it and wisked it away to the vet.

    They are beautiful creatures, and we see them often here in the city … I have seen them take down pigeons .. yes it is violent, but nature can be full of violence ie: hurricanes, tornadoes etc.

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  20. It’s so hard to get a good picture of these birds of prey, isn’t it Racquel? They are faster than lightening (well, almost.) and I guess they need to be to survive. I don’t know why it doesn’t bother me to think of them eating voles and mice like it does when they eat the birds at the feeders???

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  21. Posted by skeeter on January 26, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Your feeders will indeed become a feeding spot for all hawks that know of the feeders. Our hawks seem to prefer the doves to any bird in our yard. I have seen them scoop down and take a red Cardinal though. They also grab a snake off the ground. Saw a hawk eating one in the woods after seeing him fly by with the snake in its talons. That was interesting to see. We came inside and watched him eat the meal while looking through the binoculars. Wild kingdom in my own back yard. We keep the main feeder under the trees so as to camouflage the hawks view plus to give the birds a chance to escape. When a predator bird or cat is in the area, birds will give a warning call and most birds freeze in their spot. Real interesting to watch. The Wrens and Blue Jays make the most noise when a predator is in the area. They scream up a storm.

    We find it difficult to identify the hawks in our yard. Their colors or something about them never completely match any of our bird books. We believe our resident hawk is a Red Shoulder. The adult Cooper is a Bluish-gray color and really pretty.

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  22. I hope all is well with you, haven’t known it to take you this long to respond on your comments. Not rushing you whatsoever, just want to know all is well.

    Darla

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  23. Posted by Racquel on January 26, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Hi everyone, sorry I havent’ responded to your comments. It was a bit hectic here today. My eldest son got hurt at work and we were at the Dr most of the day. He is resting comfortably at the moment. I was very surprised by the number of responses to this post! I guess I’m not the only one who enjoys wildlife. 🙂 Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments today. I enjoyed reading each and every one of them. At least I found some time to stop by your current posts today. Take care and I will chat with you all tomorrow.

    Reply

  24. I hope your son has a speedy recovery. Sounds like a bit of a shakeup in your life. Sending good thoughts your way.
    M.A.

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  25. The hawks are pretty but they are not my favorite bird at all. They will kill a chicken in a heart beat. It makes me sad when this happens. I wish they could just find another meal but they seem to zone in on my chickens)-: I am glad your son is o.k.

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  26. Posted by Racquel on January 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Thanks Maryann & Cindee for you nice comments & thoughts for my son. 🙂

    Reply

  27. They are beautiful, til they eat your pets:)

    Not a pretty image Carla. 😦

    Reply

  28. Posted by skeeter on January 27, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    GET WELL WISHES GOING TO YOUR SON!

    Thank you so much for your warm wishes Skeeter. 🙂

    Reply

  29. I have wanted to see a Cooper’s Hawk for so long! I’m sure we have them, but I’ve not seen one. I keep watching!

    Reply

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