[Tweeters] "Hawk Attack" near Kennewick, WA

Carol Schulz carol.schulz50 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 2 09:16:43 PDT 2018

Hi Tweets:
My sister Marilyn sent an interesting msg yesterday.  She lives in
Kennewick, WA and visited a large park 5-miles down the Columbia River
from her home.  It is 273-acre Two Rivers Park.  A small part of it is
well developed and very popular, but most of it is primitive.  It is on
the south side of the Columbia River at the confluence with the Snake River.
Here is her story:

Carol, here's a real surprising story for you... something I've never
seen or heard in 15-20 years of birdwatching:

It happened this morning [June 1] in the Finley Woods (Two Rivers
Park).   I was out there to warm up the car & hopefully see a few more
Monarch butterflies and a hummingbird or two.     I did accomplish that
-- even saw two gray catbirds as well -- but in the process wound up
getting a very surprising series of 'attacks' from tall trees overhead,
by a very loud and raucous bird.   'Riparian' area very silent; no
people near, when suddenly this all happened.

The bird kept swooping around me from on high (dryland fairly tall
cottonwoods etc.).   I struggled to see what it was, thinking it might
be an eagle or  great horned owl because I used to see a nest or two
years ago.    Finally, it came to a stop high up where I could actually
see it.  Of all things, it was just a Cooper's Hawk.  (I was really
amazed.  I'd seen them over the years but just perched, nothing special.)

Couldn't see any indication of a nest or any 'nestlings'    As I would
look up and all around in this racket, it was hard to see through the
leaves to see any bird at all.    (July 1 seems a little late for any
nesting around here, I'd think. )   But finally the bird stood out on a
high location where I could actually see it, and was stunned to discover
it was an adult Cooper's Hawk.

I continued on through the woods to get to the milkweed fields and more
greenery, where I was pleased to find a few more Monarchs  plus a
Western Tiger Swallowtail, even a Bewick's wren.  Then as I came back
through the main trail in the woods, the hawk again made a few more
dive-bombing passes at me.  There were repeated numbers of swoops --
can't believe one person walking in the woods would have stirred up all
that.     As one book described it, the bird's sounds were "Loud,
repeated, high 'kek kek kek kek' call during alarm..."

P.S.   With all the action around my head & shoulders, I would have
thought this was some monster predator... Never would have guessed it
was a relatively small Cooper's til I actually saw the colors on its
front...  Just like the Kaufman pg 117 pix. P.P.S.  A Kaufman quote: 
"Voice -- largely silent, except around nest; fast, barking,
woodpecker-like cac-cac-car, in alarm."     That's just how it started
out.  I remember thinking of 'woodpecker'.

So that's my birding report for the year... That's my story and I'm
sticking to it, as someone once said!
              Happy Summertime to everyone, from Marilyn

Reported by Carol Schulz, Des Moines
Here is Des Moines, I have been near Cooper's Hawks nests, but have
never experienced anything like this. Could there have been a juvenile
bird somewhere down near the trail?


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