Our Cooper’s hawk on camera
Sunday January 13th 2013, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Family,Wildlife

We all saw him this time. Richard grabbed the nearest camera and took the best picture and then handed the Nikon to me, my hand reaching blindly behind me for it–I know how fast Coopernicus can disappear and I didn’t want to miss a thing.

Someone had recently moved a ladder under the eaves near the small birdfeeder in the alcove part of the patio, making a ten-foot-wide space even narrower for a 31″ wingspan to be wheeling around in–I had been wondering if it had been interfering with his hunting and where to move it to. But it was his hunting that had driven a finch into the window and gotten me to look up to see him–and he twirled sideways into wings straight up and down as he whizzed around that tight area, fully aware of the space and of the presence of the glass. And later he did it again! Dazzling.

Barbecue grill to the lawnmower handle, repeating Friday’s pattern. (Note to my childhood friend Karen: that’s your birds suncatcher in the upper edge.) After awhile, Richard and Michelle went back to whatever they were doing wherever, but I was not about to miss out.

Again, the hawk and I spent a long time together watching each other. For about half an hour. Then he lifted off lightly to the neighbor’s post just over the fence, where, his dark gray back to me, he fluffed out his chest feathers against the cold, the late sun illuminating their edges into a brilliantly-lit white-ish halo poofing out at his sides. He watched a flock of finches start to play in the tree in front of him–then one suddenly went zing! in a straight shot to the right.  Hawk! Run! Then another, then the rest of them caught on to him as he watched the show in no particular hurry.

He was very much out in the open. No stealth. This was his home, the neighbor’s yard and mine, and he was proclaiming it to the world.

I checked outside briefly to see if a bird had indeed gone down at impact from that window strike, but no; he noted my doing so and so about two minutes later was when he came back and did that second fly-by that again missed the ladder, leaning into an up-and-down wingtip just so.

He went to the top of the table. He walked through the amaryllis pots. He bowed once, twice to the world beyond my window.

And then, wings wide, he bade me good day, forty-five minutes after I’d first seen him, and was gone.

(With thanks to Kelli, who gave me her old camera when mine died. My Iphone was in my purse somewhere, but Kelli’s Nikon was right in reach.)

7 Comments so far
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Wow! Excellent photos. And what an amazing experience to share. I’ve seen birds make tight turns, but not in the tight space as you describe. Thank you for sharing!

Comment by DebbieR 01.13.13 @ 11:53 pm

What kind of birds? I think they are called acrobats. Ooh,I didn’t intend that pun.

Comment by Don Meyer 01.14.13 @ 9:43 am

amazing photos — and descriptions to match!!

thank you for sharing

Comment by bev 01.14.13 @ 10:46 am

Wow! Amazing! I love it when Mother Nature gives you a gift like that.

Comment by Jody 01.14.13 @ 1:01 pm

Smart hawk – he knows he’s got a good friend in the window and also one behind the window.

Comment by twinsetellen 01.14.13 @ 9:28 pm

Love the bowing. He’s a respectful performer!

Comment by Channon 01.15.13 @ 8:37 am

Talk about gifts from Life! I’m so happy for you, that you go so much time to spend in such great company.

Comment by Suzanne from Montreal 01.15.13 @ 8:01 pm

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