Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday - Cooper's Hawk

Still dealing with the annoying aftermath of a that cold so I'm pulling from the archives again.  Last fall, I had an incredible, up-close encounter with this juvenile Cooper's Hawk who was sitting at eye level right along one of the main paths at the San Joaquin sanctuary.  He sat there for quite a while and let me just blaze away with my camera.  Taken October 4, 2015 at SJWS in Irvine, CA.

Cooper's Hawk's eyes turn red as they mature.

Sadly, I believe this bird may have been responsible for the loss of the local female Kestrel several months after I took these shots.  She was reported to have been taken by a Cooper's in front of witnesses and she has not been seen since.

At the time I took these shots, though, this bird was still perfecting it's hunting skills.  I would watch it drop in low over the various ponds and try to grab one of the shore birds...but fail.

I managed to get this shot showing one of a Cooper's more distinctive features - the long, striped tail.

The rounded end/uneven tail feather lengths help differentiate it from another similar raptor known as the Sharp-shinned Hawk.


Adam Jones said...

Truly stunning images.

Andrea Priebe said...

These are wonderful shots and a handsome bird indeed. Sorry that he took out the female Kestrel, but Nature does have a cruel side. Hope you are feeling better soon ...

Andrea @ From the Sol

Neil said...

Great shots of the Hawk