Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

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  Cooper's Hawk Threatens Siskins

Published: November 27, 2012
Tags: My Feeders, Cooper's Hawk, Pine Siskins

I haven't seen a Cooper's Hawk near our feeders in quite awhile. I posted about my first yard sighting of a Cooper's in February, 2011, in my post, "Life and Death". It may have been a life list addition for me that day too.

Today, as I was absorbed in my work, I was startled when I heard a couple of thuds on the window. The flock of 30+ Pine Siskins had just bolted and a couple of the little guys hit the window (no casualties, fortunately!). Immediately, I thought "predator". Sure enough, I saw a Cooper's Hawk land over in the pines. Apparently, his attack was unsuccessful. He settled on a sumac branch near the pines for a few moments and I was able to quickly grab my camera and capture a couple of poor shots before he left, undoubtedly disappointed.

It's always a catch 22 for me: I was very glad for our visiting siskins yet I feel bad the hawk left hungry. If only he could have found and satisfied his hunger with one of the mice that keep finding their way into our old house!

As much as I find the photographing of such a magnificent bird attractive, I really hope he doesn't return to threaten the feeder birds. Otherwise, I'm not sure what to do. I've heard people recommend removing the feeders for a couple of days to dissuade the little seed eaters from coming, which will encourage the hawk to find new hunting grounds. Other than trying to watch and scare him away, I imagine that's the only option.

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Cooper's Hawk on a sumac branch

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Repositioning himself

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Cooper's Hawk

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He moved to a maple tree, then left

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