A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Cooper's Hawk

I don't know who took this picture...I saw it on the internet and borrowed it :)

The other day when I was watching Blue Jays at my feeder...and writing a post about them...a shadow went across the sunny window. It was a big shadow and bigger than a Blue Jay I thought. Later in the day, as we were coming down the drive, Joe spotted this bird in a close by tree. The bird was just sitting there with his back to the feeder, which was just a few feet from him. We stopped the car and sat there for awhile. The bird kept turning his head around, like an owl, and watching the feeder. The feeder was empty...the tiny birds had all taken cover. After sitting there for maybe 15 min. I decided to get out of the car. I ventured over to the tree. He kept a watchful eye. Closer and closer I came...he decided to leave right then. I watched as this magnificent bird soared first low to the ground then up and away towards the woods. It seems that he has spotted our feeder and will come and sit nonchalantly waiting for his meal. Where did the little birds go? The minute he was gone...they came out of hiding...they were under the evergreens in the front...where the mums are blooming. Lots of little birds were  hiding together. I guess they will have to be vigilant this winter for he was back again this morning.

Here's some information on this hawk. 
Among the bird world’s most skillful fliers, Cooper’s Hawks are common woodland hawks that tear through cluttered tree canopies in high speed pursuit of other birds. You’re most likely to see one prowling above a forest edge or field using just a few stiff wing beats followed by a glide.We have a woods behind the house where many birds reside.  They are sometimes unwanted guests at bird feeders, looking for an easy meal (but not one of sunflower seeds).These hawks kill their prey by holding the bird in their claws and squeezing it to death...or if water is close by they will drown their prey. I have mixed feelings about this visitor...I would like to observe it for a while...but then would like it to move on..as I am really fond of songbirds. Hawks have been known to grab a cat or dog, but this variety feeds mostly on small birds. I suppose if the dog were very tiny...it might be dangerous. The dogs in our neighborhood are leashed and I've only seen one cat outside. He has competition  with the coyotes. There's a problem...for dogs and cats but that's another story.


Donna said...

The hawk is a very mighty bird and beautiful! Every now and then we see one in our neighborhood and back yard. It seems unusual to see them in town and I often wonder what brought them in here, of course we do have lots of big trees, and birds too.

Enjoy your day!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

if this is why
my feeders
are empty of
my birds
for weeks....

Balisha said...

Hi Ernestine...It may very well be.When the hawk was here...as I said the birds were hiding. Keep your eyes open and listen for the loud kac kac kac sound... I have been researching this bird and they suggest taking the bird feeders down for a few days to get rid of them.
I do find them interesting, but I really want my songbirds.

Balisha said...

Hi Donna,
They are really interesting to watch. I guess it's always interesting to see a different bird in our yards. I'm not crazy about it's habits though.

Stacey said...

Cooper's Hawks are beautiful! We had many of them in our last neighborhood in Oklahoma. They would actually nest in our neighborhood..and they are very territorial. They would swoop down and bop the kids in the head when they were playing near the tree with the nest.

We have lots of Red Tail Hawks here and in Oklahoma. They are actually larger than Cooper's Hawks. Both are so beautiful.

Steve said...

At my feeder one came down and was going to attack the oh so beautiful and gentle duration collared doves that feel safe at my feeder.as i was watching the dpbes I noticed one beautifully little female dove had a bunch of her feathers missing on her back and her mate was so sweet walking right by her side helping her find seeds..shall had been attacked but I didn't know by what...and then the entire group went on high alert and took off and all flew off except one dove that missed the take , then i witnessed the most amazing thing..one dove came back and flew in the path of the hawk and landed on right in front of the other dove came and they both started to fly off then it happened...the violets hawk attacked the dove on his way out to his mate...wings were flapping and feathers were flying as the merciless hawk started ripping away at his beautifully dpbes ...i banged on the window and yelled and started to run out to help this dove escape....and she took one last leap ..and she she made it..she flew to her mate..and they both got away...this was the most heroic action I have ever witnessed.Also seen 3 finches come out of nowhere and fly in a triangle away with the injured dove. I never new such devotion existed in the euration collared dovesong bird community. Agree that these hawks are beautiful but i think the love that i experienced and allowed to see was one of the greatest moments of my life. Tonight it is 32 degrees..I pray to god that that beautiful little dove does not freeze to night because below where her feathers are missing is her lower lungs...I know that the hawk will probably be back tomorrow...I wish he would go catch a field mouse and leave my feeder alone.

Balisha said...

Hi Steve
What a beautiful thing to witness. I hope that the hawk stayed away from your feeder too. It's so hard for us to realize the chain of events in our natural world. Doves are a particular favorite of mine too. They are so soft and gentle. They nest in our blue spruce every year and I fear for their babies each Spring.