On day 2 of the Great Backyard Bird Count this immature Cooper’s Hawk appeared in my yard. For the next 3 days it hunted my feeders without success.
On Monday afternoon just as the small birds were starting to return to my feeders, so did the Cooper’s Hawk! I saw it perched on the logs of my woodpile as I was taking the laundry downstairs. I dropped the laundry and ran for my camera but when I tried to stealthily open the backdoor and stick the lens out the bird bolted for the trees.
After watching it awhile I went back to doing what I was doing, which was sitting by the fireplace reading a book. When I went back for the laundry later I looked out the back window again. By now the sun had set and the light was dim and gray. I scanned the trees and the brush pile but saw nothing, and then, something moved beneath a branch!
I grabbed my camera once again, and this time I went into the spare room and shot through the double-pane window. I did not want to scare the hawk off its prey. I know how hard it is for them to be successful, and this young bird finally was. But…what was it eating? I tried so hard to see through my lens and with my bins, but in the dim light I could not tell.
In the morning I went investigating.
The young hawk was perched on these logs when I first saw it out the backdoor. If you scroll back up and look at some of the close-ups from last night of the hawk on the branch you will see a bit of red dangling from its beak. I started to suspect that it may have already killed it’s prey and was eating it here but I did not notice it then.
Though I searched and searched I never found any bones, legs, or a beak.
leaving only feathers behind.
(Note: I do not think this is from the same bird that was killed last night. This feather was with a few others underneath the feeders on the side of my house and I think it may be from a mourning dove.)
I wore myself out this weekend doing the Great Backyard Bird Count. If you click on the link and go to the home page you can see some of the results. If you want to see how your state ranked, just click on the “Explore the Results” Button to see State Tallies and the Top Ten Lists. I always have fun doing the GBBC. This year I submitted 21 checklists and added 2 new bird species to my yard list when a mallard and a rock pigeon flew overhead. Happy Birding Everyone! Now I’m going to take a break…if I can! See you soon!