[CT Birds] Great feeder bird - close-up Cooper's

Peregrine Information Consultants info at peregrineinfo.com
Fri Nov 30 10:22:58 EST 2007


We are fortunate to have Cooper's and Sharp-Shinned Hawks in our neighborhood, and they visit our feeder area. (Last year, a young Cooper's obliged us by dispatching a half dozen suet-hogging starlings over the course of a week. On another occasion, we witnessed an epic struggle between a young Sharp-Shinned and a Blue Jay; the Jay escaped but was rather ruffled.)

Yesterday I glanced out at the feeders with reading glasses on, saw a big hawk in the tree where we have the suet feeders (10' from kitchen window), and thought, "Wow, a Red-Tail so close!" When I got closer and got on the proper glasses, I could see that it was a GIANT-sized Cooper's Hawk - I have never seen one so big. She (presumably) was magnificent, with pristine plumage and that intense golden orange eye! She must have just eaten, since the little birds were back at the feeders just a dozen feet away. She stayed there for about 45 minutes - a wonderful opportunity for closeup study as she preened, stretched, surveyed her domain. What a privilege that was for me. Glad my husband and daughter arrived home in time to see her also. Hope she sticks around - we are plagued by about two dozen hungry House Sparrows.

I am angry when the neighborhood cat hunts at my feeders, but I welcome the hawks! I wouldn't mind the cat if it would stick to House Sparrows and Starlings - none of them belongs in our ecosystem.


Sarah Hager Johnston, BMus, MLS

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