Bird of prey…genus accipiter
[*I am unsure if this raptor is a lady, or a dude…so, for the sake of this post, I’ll go with dude hawk. It ain’t sexist...]
This beautiful, & deadly guy graced my property a week ago, & each consecutive day thereafter.
With his whoosh of vibrant feathers, his sharp stare, & an impossibly gorgeous profile, he brought with him poignant beauty, the demonstrably ballsy behavior of crows, and, the death of one of the mourning doves.
I find myself holding my breath each time my eye finds him through the lens.
The first day he arrived brought a flurry of fleeing wildlife. Mourning doves quickly burst into flight, whistling as they sought safety in the tree line. Squirrels hauled some serious ass under cover. The chipmunks shot like rockets underneath the workshop. Jays, cowbirds, robins, sparrows all made themselves gone.
The cooper’s hawk is a unique diurnal hunter. His method is dangerous, fracturing his chest bones as he flies quickly through dense vegetation to catch prey. The tree line was no longer a dove refuge. The driveway was no longer a colorful, & noisy mixed species congregation. The lawn was no longer a worm & insect buffet.
The yard was suddenly a ghost town; save for the hawk.
He stood tall…spanning his wings, each feather, like fingertips, spread and reaching.
His daffodil legs, vivid, talons effortlessly clutched the wooden fence.
His head turned quickly, eyes scanning the empty yard.
The silence was broken by distant crows making their way back to the driveway.
The hawk scrutinized the remaining bounty in the driveway, finally hopping down.
The crows were back…their caws were not fully alarm sounding.
The hawk flapped his impressive wings quickly, and repositioned himself on the fence.
Two crows descended, soaring toward the food. Landing, & adjusting their wings, twitching their tails.
The hitched stride, sauntering to the buffet.
The hawk seemed to ignore them and their rattles & clicks.
I kept watching, heart beating faster…I was about to witness some serious avian predation…
The hawk swooped down, chasing a crow. Admittedly, it seem half-hearted, or, this particular raptor forgot how to ‘hawk’.
The crow chased back, pursuing the hawk past the furthest driveway trees out of vision.
The sound the crow made I can best describe as a deep, throaty ‘growl’. It was similar to their rattle, but much deeper, guttural. [Sounded like a ‘fuck off’ to me.]
Not sure if the hawk will continue to frequent…as the crows got all pissy, & growly.
6 crows 1 hawk?
Please, the black feathered gems ain’t giving up their turf to those talons.
Hope y’all enjoy the pics.
P.s. Cooper’s hawks do not normally prey upon crows. They mainly prey on small mammals, mourning doves, & starlings. They even prey upon smaller hawks. They help regulate the populations of small mammal species, ergo greatly contribute to healthy ecosystems.
Yeah, these creative pricks sometimes actually drown their prey…they have been observed holding prey under water until their victim stops moving. Ain’t that something?
They can live 12 years in the wild.
Their biggest threat? Us…. degradation, & loss of habitat.