[Tweeters] Cooper Activity

Stephen schasecredo at gmail.com
Sun Feb 10 13:10:39 PST 2019

Hi Tweeters,
With all this cold and wind, I've been putting out extra seed and corn to appease the juncos and their allies. The local hawks pay attention and every once in a while there's a mad scramble of songbirds and then a few seconds later a blur of hawk. Usually it's a very small (presumed) male Sharp-shinned, hardly bigger than a robin. Today however it was a much larger accipter - a (presumed) female Cooper's Hawk. It tore across the yard and rested on a branch in the forest, without coming close to nabbing anything. Right before it came to rest, a second Cooper's - a noticeably smaller (presumed) male which must have been perched out of sight in the forest all along - flew toward it, then veered off and perched a dozen yards away up in a cottonwood. The two called to each other - the low husky whine that confirmed my ID of Cooper's Hawk. Then the female flew off, and a few seconds later, the male took off in the same direction. After the initial frenzy when the female flew in, the songbirds quickly returned to a baseline behavior, even with both hawks perched in sight. The purple finches returned to the top of the bare Cherry tree where they like to perch, and juncos were back on the patio feeding in no time. I found that odd. When a Sharp-shinned attacks, it's a good five minutes before any junco dares to venture out again. Do songbirds not consider Cooper's Hawks a serious threat, or was there something about the behavior of these hawks that allowed the songbirds to let up their guard?

Stephen, in
wind-blown Everson

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