Cooper’s Hawk – Part 1 of 3

This hawk series is being presented in 3 parts, not only to hopefully keep your interest piqued, but also allow it to build up and make it easier for me to get to the 3rd post.

Pulling into the driveway after running some errands, I saw this Cooper’s Hawk at the wood pile.  Being ever so quiet getting out of the car, I left the door open so the hawk wouldn’t see me, snuck quietly into the house, attached the zoom lens to the camera, came back out and hid behind/around the car to capture these shots.  The hawk clearly had it’s eyes on and was ever so patient waiting for a mouse or chipmunk to pop out from under the wood pile and ivy undergrowth.

Upon further investigation, I discovered the Cooper’s Hawk is among the bird world’s most skillful fliers that can tear through cluttered tree canopies in high speed pursuit of other small mammals such as mice or chipmunks.  You’re most likely to see one prowling above a forest edge, or, look for this hawk to fly with a flap-flap-glide pattern typical of accipiters*.  Even when crossing large open areas they rarely flap continuously.  Another attack maneuver is to fly fast and low to the ground, then up and over an obstruction to surprise prey on the other side.  Wooded habitats range from deep forests to leafy subdivisions and backyards.

*Accipiter – any of a genus of medium-sized forest-inhabiting hawks that have short broad wings and a long tail and a characteristic flight pattern of several quick flaps and a glide.

Stay tuned for Part 2…

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About Laurie Merritt Photography

Owner: Laurie Merritt Photography
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