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Cooper’s hawk tries to chase plastic (fake) hawk out of yard

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 at 5:27 am in Cooper's hawk.

Cooper’s hawk tries to chase fake plastic hawk out of its territory. Photo by Phil Grover, Concord, CA
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Our neighbors put up a hawk decoy to keep ducks out of their swimming pool.  It has been there for some time.  Recently we witnessed a young Cooper’s hawk (we think, you tell us) trying to drive the fake hawk out of the neighborhood.  Well, that is our guess at its motivation. It seemed quite agitated and was making a lot of noise as well as flying many times at the decoy.  It gave up after about 20 minutes, a long time in our estimation.
Phil and Sue Grover, Concord, California

Phil & Sue:
It’s an adult Cooper’s hawk. Because of it’s size, probably a male (females are a bit larger). That’s pretty funny. It appears to perceive the fake hawk as an intruder on its turf. Is the decoy just as effective at keeping ducks out of your neighbor’s pool?

These decoys seem to have limited effectiveness if simply plunked down in one spot and left there. After a time, the birds in the area tend to get used to the decoy, realize it is doing nothing and forget about it. You need to move them around every day or so to make them seem more alive. You might pass that bit of info along to your neighbors. /Gary

Cooper’s hawk gets aggressive with fake plastic hawk. Photo by Phil Grover, Concord, CA
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