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Cooper’s hawk: Watch out, little birds, run away fast!

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 at 6:39 am in Cooper's hawk.

Immature Cooper’s hawk. Photo by Joanne Smith, Union City, CA
1coop joanne smith union city

Thought you would enjoy this shot of a juvenile Cooper’s hawk who occasionally visits my yard in Union City.  His name is Gary, too.  The Dread Squirrel Roberta is not the least bit afraid of him, stares him down, shakes her tail and then does acrobatic dining on the seed block while he watches.  He was here four times yesterday, knew there were little birds hiding in the neighbor’s honeysuckle but never managed to get one.
Joanne Smith, Union City, California

Gary Cooper, eh? Great photo. Beautiful bird. Your squirrel obviously knows this is an immature Cooper’s hawk and not quite up on its hunting techniques, yet, otherwise she wouldn’t risk staring the hawk down.

Those “little birds” you mention, are always on the lookout for hawk predators and can disappear in a nanosecond by diving into nearby bushes. If you are watching songbirds at your backyard bird feeder, blink your eyes and suddenly those little birds are gone … look around for the Cooper’s hawk. It will be sitting nearby. The ability of those little birds to almost instantly disappear is called … “survival.” /Gary

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2 Responses to “Cooper’s hawk: Watch out, little birds, run away fast!”

  1. Joanne Smith Says:

    I was outside when I heard a giant “PHOOM” and lots of frenzied chattering. The doves, finches and house sparrows must have all taken flight at the same time. Having a hawk visit certainly saves on seed, even if he can’t find his lunch.

  2. Christina Says:

    We get Coopers hawks, too. The squirrels don’t seem to mind them, but we’ve seen them take small birds and rats. They’re welcome to eat all the rats they like!

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