Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cooper's Hawk

Last week, I took a nice walk along the riverbank, and visited one of my favorite parks in town, Cosmopolitan Park. This can be a great place to find migrants and other choice species if you get there at the right time of day.
I was there fairly early in the morning, and had actually been there briefly a few days before, and had flushed a lone Cooper's Hawk, while walking one of the trails .
This time, I got very lucky, and caught sight of a Cooper's Hawk that had just caught its prey, and was busy plucking it to eat from an open perch that crossed overhead of me.
While he was busy, a second Cooper's was circling close overhead, so I'm guessing there is a breeding pair in the woods at this park.
I got a couple of photos from this vantage point, then watched the bird fly off to the higher canopy to finish its meal. I wanted to get up to the birds level, so had to scale the steep muddy bank and wedge myself up a tree and stay very still and quiet , while the bird did his thing..

Warning some of these photos are quite graphic !








17 comments:

holdingmoments said...

That's what it's all about, isn't it Nick.
'scale the steep muddy bank and wedge myself up a tree and stay very still and quiet'
and that's how you get results like this. Superb mate. A real privilege to witness.

grammie g said...

""Super-Super"" Thanks for the opportunity to see what you capture through your lens!!

Hilke Breder said...

Fantastic shots!! Any idea what kind of bird he was feasting on?

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Excellent series.Wow!

Nick S said...

Thanks guys. Yes Keith, that's what its all about. If I hadn't had the nerve ( or recklessness) to climb that tree, I would have never had gotten those last few shots :-)

Its prey was actually a White-throated Sparrow.

Country Mouse Studio said...

Beautiful shots!

Mike said...

Great looking bird Nick, nice one.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

It is just recently, that I have begun to view Cooper's Hawks a little more frequently. Your series of images are right on the mark to show off their beauty,as well as what needs to take place for them to survive. Thanks for the great share~

mnilson said...

Amazing shots Nick. Reminded me of on Sunday I was at a park near the weir for a ultimate frisbee practice and there was a fairly large looking falcon of sorts flying from the North West to the South East carrying large sticks, presumably for a nest. I would guess he was on the west side of the river based on flight times. I was upset that I had left the camera at home; it was a very large bird.

Keep up the great photography.

p.s. in case you aren't familiar. I think One Year Fourty Acres would be right up your alley.

Kelly said...

...it always stops me in my tracks when I find a hawk eating its prey. I haven't had to climb a tree yet to get a shot, however. I love it!

Nick S said...

Thanks for the kind words guys.

mnilson, I have heard of that show, and will be contacting SCN to see if I can order the whole set.
Your large bird was probably a Swainson's Hawk, as they are known to nest in that area.

sebi_2569 said...

very interesant blog;and beautiful photo, bravo

Chris said...

What a set Nick!! Wonderful to be able to witness this nature moments. your pictures are, as usually, so perfect. These are pure beauties my friend!!

francescbb@hotmail.es said...

Great pictures!!! congratulations!!!

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Frank

Kaley said...

Wow, I would murder for such an opportunity! Seen lots of hawks, never been able to get a good photograph of them. These are absolutely exquisite, I love them.

Philip said...

Fantastic shots of the coopers hawk Nick well done !! I give you 10/10 anyday :)

T and S said...

Fantastic series, its Nature at its best...Thomas