Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cooper's Hawk

This photo has been Photoshopped to improve its quality but it is still not quite what we really saw on our front porch railing one morning a week or so ago. Tom used his Canon EOS but he was shooting through our front window at an angle. You can see the living room drapery on the right side. The bird was sitting on the railing just outside our front door.

For five years or so a pair of Cooper's Hawks nested across the street in our neighbor's tall tree. A fierce wind and rain storm broke the top out of the tree. The nest came down, too.

The hawks are still nesting somewhere in our area. One summer day I looked out my kitchen window and saw a parent sitting with a young hawk on the picnic table on our back patio.

We are glad the Cooper's Hawks are around. They are beautiful birds to watch as they fly in and swoop down to land on a branch. They hunt birds so sometimes we see them in the walnut tree watching our bird feeders. They remind us that nature has a system of checks and balances that creates a healthy environment. Hawks are as important a part of the natural world as the birds they prey on.

Cooper's Hawks also hunt chipmunks and squirrels which keeps the populations of those rodents in check.

Tom took this telephoto picture of the bird in which you can see that the bird has a yellow eye. The yellow eye is a characteristic of the young birds. The adults have red eyes. The speckled back is also indicative of a young bird.

I am happy to share our yard with these beautiful creatures.

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