Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Corralitas Drive: Cooper's Hawk Hounded By Mockingbird

Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 12, 6:49PM.  I was sitting near a window when a hawk followed by a noisy mockingbird flew past and into my neighbor's Eucalyptus.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Since I'd followed a Cooper's Hawk being harassed by a mockingbird around my yard at 7 AM, the same day, I grabbed my camera while texting my neighbor Gary, who would have a prime view of the action. 

In the waning light I could see the horizontal tail stripes.  It was a large Cooper's Hawk, just like this morning, probably the same bird.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 12, 2013, 6:49PM.  Body language says so much.

Mockingbirds must not taste very good, because I've never seen any of the hawks they harass, kill them.  Cooper's Hawks specialize in hunting birds in wooded areas, so I really love this second photo.  It's like the hawk's thinking, "Anytime I want to..."

Unfortunately, Cooper's Hawks are notoriously camera shy (unlike our Red Tails).  It flew up & over Gary's house toward Red Car Canyon (where another neighbor reports seeing a Cooper's Hawk in the dense trees regularly),  with the mockingbird dive bombing & screaming right along side.

Click here for all our Cooper's Hawk posts.
Learn more about Cooper's Hawks: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Editor's note: My take on wildlife photos is shoot photos first, worry about image quality later, especially if it's something you don't see everyday, like a Cooper's Hawk. I've only ever gotten one good Cooper's Hawk photo because they are so elusive.