Friday, May 21, 2010

Corralitas Drive: Raptor Drama

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 20, 2010, 10:33 AM. A crow circles a small hawk in my neighbor's tree. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Yesterday, I heard a hawk calling rather urgently, sounding like it was right outside my house. I grabbed my camera and went out to the street. I watched as two small crows, who are usually harassed by the mockingbirds, harassed a small hawk near the top of my neighbor's pine tree.

Unfortunately, this is the only shot of the hawk. It appears to be puffing out its feathers attempting to appear larger. I don't think that's prey hanging from its mouth, since it was calling.

The hawk was about the size of the crows, which are quite small for crows. It was too small to be a Red Tail, and too large for a Kestrel. It may have been one of the elusive Cooper's Hawks (frequently seen flying among the trees in Red Car Canyon). When the hawk flew into my neighbor's dense Eucalyptus tree a few seconds later, I noticed horizontal stripes on the underside of its tail. It may be a Cooper's Hawk.

For a great shot of a Cooper's Hawk, see Will Campbell's blog, [sic].