The Accipiter Files

Yesterday I went for my regular circumnavigation of the lake, camera in hand. Shortly into the woods I was brought up short by the sight of a Cooper’s Hawk in the dense bush, sitting on a branch making a meal of some small creature. I wasn’t sure at the time exactly which bird I was looking at, and unfortunately I’d left my 300mm lens at home. I watched for a few minutes as it devoured the creature, while pausing between bites to look up and around for interlopers. Then it was gone, flying through the dense trees as if it were no larger than a bug. I managed a few pictures which I had to crop in a big way, but they did prove what I saw was indeed a Cooper’s.

Cooper's Hawk at lunch

Cooper’s Hawk at lunch

This morning I did some research on hawks at this site:

One very helpful item there is the recording of the Cooper’s call. Later on I set out for a walk, this time with the 300mm lens affixed. The general rule is that when I carry the big lens I don’t see such sights as I did yesterday. However, I was halfway across the floating bridge which crosses the end of the lake, when I heard the call. It was the very cry I’d only just listened to and it said “Cooper’s Hawk”. Looking up I saw it on a branch above the water, wings and tail feathers outspread as if drying them off.

Cooper's Hawk #2

Cooper’s Hawk #2

Since one doesn’t see these birds that often hereabouts, I can only conclude that this one has perhaps paused here for some reason. Maybe to eat tasty little birds like this one:

Cooper's lunch

Cooper’s lunch

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