Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)

Roger was in the front yard with some friends and he yelled “Hey, Dad! A hawk just landed on the tree right over my head!”

Sure enough. A hawk was hanging out on the branch over his head. It stuck around long enough for me to grab my camera and [borrowed] Canon 28-300mm lens.

This is a young Cooper’s Hawk. Thanks to ChuqUI for the identification. Chuq, an avid bird watcher and talented photographer, has a much better picture of a Cooper’s Hawk in his collection.

Cooper’s Hawks are one of more common predatory birds in the United States, distributed across the whole country and quite common in many areas.

The hawks primarily prey upon various smaller birds and rodents. Oddly, a Cooper’s Hawk is just as inclined to chase down its prey through brush on foot as it is to attack from the air.

Though, that is primarily in the wild. With the proliferation of backyard bird feeders, these hawks will often sit in trees overlooking backyard feeders and will swoop in for a tasty meal when the opportunity presents.

In the first house bay area house we lived in, we were enjoying a meal in our backyard while a couple of mourning doves overlooked from the power lines behind the backyard. Suddenly, something swooped up and behind the doves and one dove exploded in a shower of feathers, then was gone.

Most likely, a Cooper’s Hawk grabbed it off the line.

4 Responses to “Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)”

  1. Adhamh says:

    Actually, its not that odd that the Cooper’s Hawk chases down its prey on foot. The prevailing bird evolution theory at the moment is that small Dinosaurs were chasing them down on foot and jumping on the animal. Give it a few hundred thousand years and you get wings.

  2. Deadprogrammer says:

    I am thinking about selling all of my lenses and buying just that 28-300. The only thing that’s stopping me is that it weights something like 5lb, and my camera is already way heavy. But then again my 100-400 is my favorite lens ever…

  3. bbum says:

    In short. Don’t. The lens is heavy, slow to focus, and cumbersome to zoom. It was awesome for its time, but there are a number of reasons why Canon no longer makes it. The 100-400 is fantastically drool worthy. So is the 70-200. I know nothing about either, but it looks like the 24-70 or 24-105 would nicely fill out the bottom zoom range for you in conjunction with the 100-400.

    I have had a great bit of fun with the 28-300 and deeply appreciate being able to borrow it, but I’m saving my $$ for the 70-200 f/2.8 IS.

  4. annbb says:

    I just want an elementary zoom….boo hoo!

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