[Tweeters] an encounter between a Coopers hawk and a hummingbird

Rob Sandelin nwnature1 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 5 10:57:54 PDT 2013

This morning I sat in my usual favorite spot in the garden for a hour or so.
Lots of bees and butterflies danced amid the flowers, and there was a line
up waiting to bath in the garden stream including two western tanagers. With
a sudden rush of wings a Coopers hawk landed very close, less than ten feet
away perhaps attracted by the action at the stream. Less than a minute later
a hummingbird buzzed literally in the hawks face. The hawk rolled its head
forward and snapped its bill at the micro bird who then zipped around behind
the hawk and appeared to poke the hawk mid back with its beak before zipping
around in front again. The hawk started stepping sideways on the branch
jerking its shoulders and twice it leaned forward to snap at the hummer.

The difference in size between the antagonist and the victim was astonishing
and after another bit of abuse from the tiny green warrior, the mighty
fearsome hawk flew away.

As far as I know hummingbirds are way done nesting at this point so I
wondered what motivated the tiny bird to take such a risk? A pissed off
hummingbird is nothing to trifle with.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer, Teacher
Snohomish County, WA

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