I have been working on catching this Cooper Hawk for 5 seasons now, and finally today I captured what I think is the best image so far of him.

This Guy/Gal frequents my bird feeder (the Birdie Banquet table, to him) yearly, mostly in the fall and winter. Because we had a heavy snowfall last night there were tons of birds there today. He flies in like a Stealth Bomber, coming over the roof of the house, low and fast. All the birds scatter, mostly to two large 12 foot high Spruce fir trees I have next to the feeder (I planted these JUST for this reason and gives the birds a fighting chance).
There may be 30 birds in the tree. The tree almost shakes with frightened and quivering birds..doesn't stop him...he dive bombs INTO the tree, and the tree literally explodes with fleeing birds. The little birds are fast, but the poor Morning Doves are heavy with a slower take off speed and usually end up as a pile of feathers in our yard. The one this morning was lucky to get away from him minus a few feathers.

"These birds capture prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation, relying almost totally on surprise. One study showed that this is a quite dangerous hunting style. More than 300 Cooper’s Hawk skeletons were investigated and 23% revealed healed fractures in the bones of the chest. Cooper's Hawks prey almost exclusively on small to mid-sized birds. Typical prey species include American Robins, other thrushes, jays, woodpeckers, European Starlings, quail, icterids, cuckoos, pigeons and doves. Birds preyed on can range in size from wood-warblers to Ring-necked Pheasants. They may also prey upon the raptor American Kestrel and other smaller raptors, including their cousin the Sharp-shinned Hawk.[12] They have been known to rob nests and may supplement their diet with small mammals such as chipmunks, hares, mice, squirrels, and bats. Even more rarely, they may predate on lizards, frogs, or snakes. It normally catches its prey with its feet and kills it by repeatedly squeezing it and holding it away from its body until it dies. They have also been seen drowning their prey, holding it underwater until it stops moving. The hawks often pluck the feathers off their prey on a post or other perch. They also hunt songbirds at backyard feeders, perching nearby then swooping down and scattering the birds to a single one out in flight. They may pursue prey on the ground by half running and half flying."

This maybe a young bird due to the yellow color of its eyes, adults have red eyes.

I think poor Mr Coppers Hawk is very hungry today and determined to get his meal...I can't blame him for that.

Amazing how Mother Nature works, Isn't it???.

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