Friday, July 29, 2011

Red Car Canyon: Elusive Cooper's Hawk

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 28, 9:44 AM.  This is the best I could do with a point & shoot camera.  (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

When you hear the sound of angry Mockingbirds that seems to never end, check out the victim of their harassment.  Right now, it could be a hawk. That's how I found this Cooper's Hawk high up in a pine tree in Red Car Canyon.  

Cooper's Hawks hunt birds, so I was surprised to see the Mockingbirds harassing it so vehemently.  The Mockingbirds were way more angry at this hawk than they are at the Red Tails.  The hawk seemed to be waiting for a parent to return with food; behavior we've seen daily with the Red Tails.

I believe it's a Cooper's Hawk because they are known to hang out in Red Car Canyon.  It has a small head, long striped tail and and is significantly smaller than the Red Tailed Hawks

Presence of Cooper's Hawks triggers a higher level of environmental review in development applications.  They have additional protections under CEQA.  Cooper's Hawks are year-round residents of the Red Car Property. 

Red Car Property neighbors at the Holyland Exhibition, report hawks swooping down and catching birds at their birdbath.  The most likely culprit?  Cooper's Hawks. 

Yesterday, I observed at least 3 species of hawks on the Red Car Property, check back tomorrow for the third.  Send us your hawk photos from the Red Car Property neighborhood: