Cooper Hawk

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by marktoo, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This guy is a regular visitor to my yard, so much so that the hens rarely even flinch anymore. Much to my dismay! Stupid birds! As he left he flew low & slow right over their enclosure, they didn't even seem to notice. In a couple of weeks more hawks will arrive, start courting rituals then nest building. 4 to 6 weeks later the crows will arrive in mass & drive them out, happens year after year. Some hawks still manage to sneak by the crow's guard, usually in the morning, but by & large the crows do a good job for us. For some odd reason that I can't figure the crows never enter our backyard. Funny!

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  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    It's a good thing you have a covered run. I have a covered run as well with all the birds of prey around. Its funny though, my roosters will even make the alarm sound when they see small birds fly over head.
     
  3. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sometimes they will sound the alarm & scatter at a shadow or a hawk so high it's hard to see. This hawk is a round so often they seldom take notice anymore. Perhaps that's the plan! [​IMG]
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I am unsure but I think that the your hawk is a Swainson's hawk. They are voracious predators of grasshoppers, dragonflies, and perhaps small rodents. They may also prey on young chicks, but at least they are not one of the dreaded big three hawk species colloquially known as "chicken hawks." Maybe someone who lives in the Short Grass Prairie states can give us a better identification. I would say I am 75% sure of my ID and your location is a good example of the kind of area that this hawk likes.

    The only time that large numbers of the Swainson's hawk is in your area is when it is migrating to the Pampas (Prairie regions) of Argentina were it Winters. At that you are on the far western edge of its summer range. But I guess that in a pinch the Central Valley of California can stand in for the Pampas. Some of you in Texas may be able to give us a better ID because the Swainsons's hawk not only nests in the Prairie near you but it migrates through your territory, often in flocks numbering in the thousands.

    There are two forms of this hawk, one light and one dark. Your hawk looks like the dark phase.

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    On the wing your hawk should more or else look like this.

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  5. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could be right, I'm no birder. This thing definitely has a banded tail, I was thinking juvenile Coopers Hawk or Sharp Shinned. Never seen a group these before but I have seen small flock of Kites pass through here once.
     
  6. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is an adult Red-shouldered Hawk. It has a limited range in California. The extensive orange on the belly and hard-to-see but visible black and white barring on the wings in the photo are good field marks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  7. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    This hawk was showing up almost daily for 6 or 8 weeks but I have not seen it for the past 2 weeks. I was hoping to get another look at it. Assuming it is a Red Shouldered Hawk according to the map I saw it probably returned to it's summer range. Maybe the crows drove him out, they seemed to have arrived a bit early this year. Perhaps the crows won't allow the hawks to even begin their nest building in the area at all.

    Thanks for the I.D. I appreciate it.
     
  8. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're welcome! [​IMG]
     

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