Monday, December 13, 2010


Note: Scroll down the right margin for free videos and newspaper/journal articles under CODE " (A-35) COOPER'S" to learn more about the Cooper's Hawk.

I've always enjoyed watching the Cooper's Hawk that begins its sentry duty around my backyard bird feeding station at the start of winter. It appears off and on in the summer/fall months, but when snow and icy winds arrive, it conceals itself in a nearby fir tree...and
Several years ago, on a bright winter afternoon, I witnessed a large rat sneak through the tree branches and twigs I fashioned into a wildlife shelter. It ate the bird seed I sprinkled over the limbs and hollow logs. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Cooper's Hawk was on it. It was a quick kill and the "Coopers" flew to a nearby tree and began devouring it.

Included in "OUR PICKS" (below) is the book "The Cooper's Hawk: A Cross Timbers Chronicle" by Vic McLeran. Vic has been a falconer and raptor freak for decades. His favorite is the Cooper's hawk, a bird he views as the "ultimate winged athlete." A former newspaperman, magazine staffer, editor and freelance journalist, McLeran has served as information-education chief for both the Kansas Forestry, Fish and Game Commission and the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission. His articles and natural history profiles have appeared in Sports Afield, Outdoor Life, Southern Outdoors, and Saltwater Sportsman among others, and in the book, Successful Outdoor Writing. He currently lives, writes and hunts his Cooper's hawk among the Cross Timbers of Oklahoma.

I've witnessed the Cooper's Hawk kill Mourning Doves and Starlings around my neighborhood. One time, a Cooper's chased a dove into a neighbor's front yard shrubs and nabbed it, then ceremoniously plucked the feathers off on their front porch fence!

This is a neat video starring the Cooper's Hawk at a backyard bird feeder. Enjoy!

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. writes about the natural world and promotes converting America's 25,000,000 lawns into wildlife-friendly lawn at a time! Do you have a Website, WebBlog, personal story or project, photos or articles to share on this site about how you created or protected a wildlife-friendly space? Please contact us at the secure Bpath Mail Form. We'd enjoy hearing from you!