Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper's HawkMy neighbour has been complaining to me about a Cooper’s Hawk that has been hanging around her bird feeder.

“He’s scaring the quail away” She said.

With good reason!  Apparently these hawks love to hang out near the bird feeders looking for their next meal.

Today, I caught this photo of him on top of the utilities pole.

My friend Joy helped me identify him as a Cooper’s Hawk.  This one looks like an adult male.

I found a link with video and sound and also a comparison showing the difference in coloring between the juvenile and male of the species.  Check out Cooper’s Hawk Details from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds Site.

This is making me wonder about a previous post I made about a hawk (I thought was a red tailed) that was in our Palo Verde in the backyard (strangely enough near the bird feeder).  Hmmm.  I think I may have misidentified him.

What do you think?

Red Tailed Hawk

UPDATE: March 3, 2013This is a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk… I was mistaken.  You can see  my other post with a photo of an adult Cooper’s here…

Last Saturday, this gorgeous Red Tailed Cooper’s Hawk was in the Palo Verde tree in the backyard.  My husband was a few feet from him when I walked up and he gestured for me to stop by putting his hand out and not moving any other muscles.  I ran back for the camera assuming it was going to be another evening with deer visiting the water fountain.

If it were a snake, my husband would have spoken.

When I came back I looked for the deer.

“I can’t see anything” I said as I peeked over his shoulder.

“In the tree right in front of you” he said.

“Oh my God! It’s a red tailed hawk I think.”

I’ve caught photos of the red tailed hawk once before at the fountain but being this close was super special.

Red Tailed Tale

Update: March 3, 2012Thanks to the help of Jim Burns ( I am updating this post because the hawk in this photo is not a red tailed but a Cooper’s hawk.

Holding my breath (literally) I got my photo.  It was too difficult to manage the tripod, dog, cat and the squeaky kitchen door that I opted to use my telephoto lens freehand.  And that’s why I needed to hold my breath.

Cooper’s Hawk

Despite the noise, the hawk remained somehow long enough and I managed to capture it before it flew away.

Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk closeup

I love wildlife.

Camera in hand, I sat quietly in my chair on the patio waiting for the hawk to return, with the dog and cat furious on the other side of the kitchen door.  Normally, they would accompany me as I sat with my morning tea on the patio enjoying the quiet of Cave Creek.  But the kettle had to wait.  I wanted to be selfish just this once because I really wanted a photo of the hawk in flight.  I waited and the domesticated ones grew more impatient and bolder with Nedra nudging the door handle with her wet nose and Tari on two hind legs scratching the glass panel furiously with her paws.

The hawk was not going to come back but I waited still.

Then, as I spied my nemesis – the bushy tailed squirrel that has done untold damage digging around the house – it dawned on me.  In capturing my photo, I lost my opportunity for a good hunt.

my nemesis

With the hawk gone, the squirrel posed for his photo.