Just a very cool raptor posing proudly. These hawks are quite common but also very adept at staying buried in trees, out of sight. This is often done near suburban bird feeders where they wait to attack some smaller, unsuspecting little bird. This particular handsome fellow was quite willing to have its picture taken a few weeks ago, seen here taking a break from working on its nest.
A crazy fun encounter with this common but not-often-seen hawk and its perspective mate.
While photographing other birds at a lake this weekend, I kept hearing the unmistakable call of a Cooper’s. It was too much to resist, especially after catching a fleeting glimpse of it. I headed off in pursuit and eventually found this handsome fellow and his lady.
He was busy trying to impress her, gathering sticks and starting a new home. I observed them for a good hour, largely focusing on him as she was content to just sit and watch him work. He was very active, here, picking out the next stick to add to their home.
I absolutely love these guys although I have only photographed them a couple handfuls of times. Those ridiculous red eyes are absolutely fascinating to me.
You’ll find Cooper’s hawks across North America and they have learned to thrive in suburban areas. Oftentimes they take advantage of bird feeders, standing watch nearby, ready to swoop in and grab an unsuspecting dove, pigeon or starling. I have a pair in my neighborhood and have photographed them a couple of times but
Not that you ever really need another reason to visit your mom but I found one last night.
I went by to help her with some computer issues (the life of the family IT guy) and at one point went out to my truck to get something. As I closed the truck door, a great horned owl comes by fast and low with another bird in hot pursuit. They land at the park across the street and I can hear a Cooper’s hawk raising a big ruckus.
Of course I had my camera with me! I found them, and a crow, having a bit of a stare-down with the hawk and crow making a ton of noise. The owl finally had enough and took off right over me and the Cooper’s hawk gave pursuit.
In the end, the owl found a good, sheltered hiding place in a pine tree and the Cooper’s hawk perched nearby, drying itself out. It was raining and the light was horrible so the pics (especially the flyover) aren’t great but the story is and the action itself is fun to see. Taken in Brighton, #Colorado.
This was a fun and surprise encounter! We have a family of Cooper’s hawks in our neighborhood but getting pics of them has been very elusive. I see them somewhat frequently but rarely where I can get a shot.
Yesterday morning, while my wife and I were enjoying coffee on the patio, one did a close flyby. Of course, I didn’t have my camera ready.
Later in the morning, I ran a quick errand and as I was coming back, one flew right in front of my truck and landed in a nearby tree. I ran home, grabbed my camera, and upon returning found the hawk was not in the tree but instead taking a bath in some standing water in the gutter! Even better was that it didn’t mind me being right across the street from it and for 15 minutes I photographed it.
Certainly I would prefer a more natural setting but I won’t complain as these guys are just crazy cool with that beautiful plumage and those orange eyes.
Cooper’s have become well adapted to life in the city and it isn’t uncommon at all to find them in suburbia. They do prefer to stay well-hidden within trees so they aren’t often seen but they are there, watching, oftentimes preying on smaller birds.
So, I spent all morning out taking pics (or trying to!) and get nothing extraordinary. I come home, walk upstairs and I see the creature that gives me my best shots of the day in our backyard – a gorgeous Cooper’s hawk.
Initially it was sitting then it laid down as if guarding a kill. It flew off after a bit with nothing in its talons and at the spot it was, only a small pile of pine needles. Not sure what it thought it had caught.
Way cool to see these guys though. Those eyes are awesome! BTW, please excuse the dead grass you are seeing. That is a section of lawn we are preparing to xeriscape so I killed everything there. 😉
These are some of the coolest raptors you could hope to see. Their gray plumage is gorgeous and those eyes are nothing short of awesome!
These are another couple cool shots I recently unearthed as I was sorting through old pics. Taken back in April near a friend’s home where this guy and his mate were establishing their own home. We had tons of fun capturing pics as they worked.
A tip from a friend (thank you, Patrick!) led me to a neighborhood not far from my house where a mated pair of these cool raptors is setting up a home in a backyard. They were coming and going, working on their nest and occasionally perching in a tree by the street. The male returned from one excursion and as I was snapping pictures, it hopped straight at me to another, closer branch.
It wasn’t till I got home and downloaded the pictures that I saw it had a kill firmly in its talon’s grasp – a small bird of some type. Even without these two pics, I was able to get my best images to date of this elusive hawk which certainly made for a fun encounter.
While not often seen, the Cooper’s Hawk is actually quite common. Typically associated with forests and woodlands, they have proven themselves to be very adaptable and indeed seem to thrive in suburban and urban environments. However, they usually opt to hang out within the cover of tree branches and leaves, not normally out in the open.
A very fun thing to see this past weekend although I didn’t get images of all the action. I spotted a gorgeous Cooper’s Hawk hanging out in a suburban park so naturally stopped to get a picture.
It flew off immediately toward some neighboring houses and I was going to give up until I hear some chickens making a huge ruckus. I walked toward the noise and see just over the short fence three chickens huddled up under a bush, clearly distraught. I knew then that hawk had to be there.
Sure enough, I see it standing in the yard, probably trying to figure out how it can enjoy a nice breakfast of poultry. Unfortunately when the Cooper’s Hawk saw me it hopped up into a tree, then decided it didn’t want witnesses to the slaughter it was contemplating and headed off. While I didn’t get any action shots, I did get some decent images of the raptor.
Interestingly enough, the term ‘chicken hawk’ actually refers to the Cooper’s Hawk. Apparently that is fitting.
A marked contrast in size between these two raptors to say the least. I was taking pics of the beautiful Bald Eagle when this young Cooper’s Hawk landed nearby. While I wish they were closer together, the image does do a nice job showing the difference in sizes between the two.
While the eagle has a wingspan between 6 and 7 feet, the much smaller Cooper’s is less than half that big. At one point the hawk gave me a wide-eyed look as if to say, “Check out how big that eagle is!” 😉
While not often seen, the Cooper’s Hawk is actually quite common. Typically associated with forests and woodlands, they have proven themselves to be very adaptable and indeed seem to thrive in suburban and urban environments. However, they typically opt to hang out within the cover of tree branches and leaves, not normally out in the open.
Finding Great Horned Owls can be a challenge, particularly in heavily wooded areas. They have a knack for positioning themselves in just the right spot to avoid detection and more than once I have walked right by one.
Sometimes, another creature though can give you a hand in finding them. I have always found Magpies to be useful for this as they do not like the big owls and raise a ruckus when one is in their domain – follow the sound, find the owl.
On this day, it was a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk that helped a friend and I, directing us to the nocturnal predator. I have seen this same hawk hassling the female owl at her nest before and on this day, she was out and about and once again, the hawk did not appreciate her presence. It was making a lot of noise, standing on a nearby branch, making sure the owl knew it was not wanted.
The noise led us right to her and allowed us to get some nice captures. The owl would eventually tire of being pestered, move to a new spot and the hawk would pursue, again raising a ruckus. It was kind of fun to watch although clearly the owl was not amused. 😉