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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group, a place where everyone is welcome to note the observations you have made of the natural world around you. Insects, weather, fish, critters, birds and plants: all are worthy additions to the bucket. Ask questions if you have them and someone here may well have an answer.
Gooseville, WI

                                                      she flew in slowly after launching from the willow on the riverbank.

I watched her pull up and flutter gracefully onto the deck rail, much like mourning doves do. A polite, delicate hawk?

Usually, a Cooper's incoming strike on a birdfeeder comes in low, hits hard with lightning force and explodes the birds in all directions. The best hope is to crash a victim into the window to fall unconscious or to tangle others in the bushes for an easy pickup meal.

Confusion! Bird hunting hawks think like that.

There's a newbie in my backyard checking out the neighborhood.

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii

The white dotted feathers freckling her brown back and those intense yellow eyes displayed her youthful inexperience. The large body size for a Cooper's betrayed her sex.  

Her long banded tail was roundly tipped with white frayed feathers showing hard use within the branches and thickets while learning to hunt. She looked fit and feisty. She's been eating well.


She paced back and forth, sidling along the deck rail memorizing the angles. Eyeing the sunflower, suet and finch feeders, she mapped the best perches and peered into the surrounding garden, bushes and overhead tree branches. I was ignored on the other side of the window with my camera, while she cased the new territory.


My harsh reality is to know that this hawk mainly eats birds the size of doves to larger pheasants. She'll kill her prey by grasping and squeezing it with her strong toes, squeezing repeatedly, until it quits moving. Researchers note that Cooper's also learn to drown their prey, if a puddle is nearby.

Life is tricky for male Cooper’s Hawks. As in most hawks, males are significantly smaller than their mates. The danger is that female Cooper’s Hawks specialize in eating medium-sized birds. Males tend to be submissive to females and to listen out for reassuring call notes the females make when they’re willing to be approached.
More here.

I just wanted to share my newest visitor at the birdfeeder this week. And yes, I was resting in my birdwatching armchair, taking a break from the heat of the garden when she arrived.

Whether she sticks around to make a living in the neighborhood or migrates to greener forest edges is up to her.

What's new in your neck of the woods? Got a Cooper's casing your joint? This bucket is now open for your observations and discussions.

Have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend.
Solidarity, brothers and sisters.



"Green Diary Rescue" is Back!

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Originally posted to Backyard Science on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by Birds and Birdwatching and Badger State Progressive.

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