Monday, July 27, 2009

Hawks

This hawk visited our backyard briefly yesterday. The bird looked like it was trying to keep cool by panting and holding its wings away from its body. Air temperature was about 100 degrees. The blue bungee cord hanging from the mesquite tree branch holds our hummingbird feeder. All of the small backyard birds managed to fly out of the yard safely this time.
But last March, when a hawk flew in the yard, a frightened mourning dove crashed into the glass door and fell to the patio floor. My son tried to help the dove but its neck seemed broken. So, he put the bird out onto the lawn and just a minute later, the hawk took it away. After all, hawks do have to eat.
The next picture is kind of sad, but hopefully, not too gross. This was the mark left on the window where the dove collided with the glass. It was just below where we had stuck a bunch of post-it notes to the glass to help prevent birds from flying into to it. The cardboard was just there to make the bird shape easier to see. The distance between wingtips measured ten inches.
I observed the following hawk at Sabino Canyon in January. I don't see hawks very often and they're pretty hard to identify. I think the first two are immature Cooper's hawks and the one in the bottom picture is an adult Cooper's. Perhaps some birders can let me know what they are if they're not Cooper's hawks.

23 comments:

Leslie said...

I am no birder, but these do look like Cooper's hawks to me. We have had them visit our bird feeders for several years now, and a birder friend positively identified them. They occasionally catch a dove (and we have similar patterns on our windows!), but usually seem to come up empty handed. Poor things. I don't like seing my regular guests get eaten, but as you say, hawks have to eat too!

betchai said...

it is sad indeed looking at that broken glass and thinking how fear would drove them away with the coming of the hawk, but like what you said, hawks have to eat too. i love the pictures, the stare of the hawk is just so intense and penetrating.

Icy BC said...

It must be wonderful to see hawks in your own backyard! Beautiful photos Diane!

Prospero said...

Sad about the dove. Those hawks are just incredible looking birds. Very imposing.

Warren said...

Great pictures! Cooper's hawks sure like to hunt birds off feeders. I've got one in my neighborhood that makes a very practiced blind run along the side of my house, turning at the last minute around a corner to arrive out of nowhere at my feeder.

There was an article in the Prescott newspaper recently saying its not unusual for a Coopers to scatter birds in all directions and have one hit a window, get stunned, and then picked up and carried away by the hawk.

Lance said...

Great shots of the hawk - such a majestic looking bird! Seeing them (not very often) is such an awesome sight!

Ashley said...

Amazing pictures of the hawks, they are beautiful! I know what you mean about birds flying into windows. My parents (who live in Tucson) have the same problem. They put stickers up on their windows as well, but it doesn't always work!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Sad about the Mourning Dove, Diane, but if the Dove's neck was broken --it wouldn't have lived. SO--why not feed it to the Hawk.

We have Mourning Doves around (alot of them) and I often wonder what would happen if one flew into our windows/doors... They haven't --but we have 3 big sliding doors off of our deck--so I'm surprised that it hasn't happened. Luckily we don't have many hawks around.

Hugs,
Betsy

Gaelyn said...

It is too bad about the dove, yet the window print is amazing.
I saw a Copper's hawk yesterday.
Great captures Diane.

Julie said...

Oh gosh...it is a sad story, but all part of a bigger story. The hawk is so majestic looking! Great photos!!!

Rena said...

Beautiful pictures. We have a "great room" at our house and are constantly having birds fly into the windows. It's really sad.

Cher said...

the doves trace on the glass is a picture of sadness. :(

love the rest of the pictures. :)

Lindy MacDuff said...

Excellent captures of the Cooper's hawks. We have those here (Indiana), too, but I haven't seen any since winter when our trees were bare.

Boy, if someone could invent something to keep the birds from smashing into the windows, they'd make millions. We have a stained glass bald eagle suncatcher hanging on our window and it doesn't help one bit. :(

yoon see said...

Hi Diane, congrats on the setting up a new blog and happy belated monday!
The hawks looked great and positive. Part of the sad stories...made me sad:(

Kathiesbirds said...

Diane, you are correct in your identification of the Cooper's hawks. The juvenile has the vertical streaking and the adult has the horizontal barring on its breast. Cooper's, sharp-shinned and merlins all like to hunt bird feeders. We have been counting the Cooper's hawks in Sabino Canyon for over a year now. I believe there are 2 nesting pairs in the lower canyon. We counted 2 juveniles and one adult on our last IBA survey earleir this month.

As for smashing into windows, Julie Zickefoose wrote an excellent article on how to prevent bird strikes in a past issue of Bird Watchers digest. After loosing her beloved Ruby (red-bellied woodpecker) to a window strike she couldn't stand it anymore and she came up with a solution. It's quite indepth, so see if you can get the article online or at the library.

Diane AZ said...

Hi Kathie, Thanks for the ID info, and I found Zickefoose's article online. We didn't notice birds hitting the window until this year when I removed the old patio screen door.

Martha Z said...

That photo of the ghostly dove imprint is great. You've had several great posts while I've been gone, love the urban wildlife.

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Super pics of the majestic hawk.How did you manage such breathtaking shots ? Really a joy to view! Ram

deedee said...

When I lived in Tucson long time ago, I knew this guy that kept hawks on tree perches in his LIVING ROOM. They were chained to the perch and use to fly into his glass sliding back door. Oh my - this post bring back memories.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Wonderful shots! You give us the opportunity to see that they are beautiful birds!

Kevin said...

Beautiful photos. I have always enjoyed seeing large birds up close as it's not too common.

I know what you're thinking about birds flying into windows. Our previous house had a lot of glass and it was always an issue. I spent many moments trying to revive the poor birds, sometimes successful and sometimes not.

Phoenix C. said...

What wonderful photos! They really are magnificent birds.

Sad about the dove - sometimes birds fly into the windows here - I find net curtains helps, as it makes the glass look opaque.

Mary said...

The hawk shots are beautiful. None of us like the ugly side of nature...prey and preditor...but at least the dove helped feed the hawk.