Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

A bird on the wire is dangerous to two in the bush!

I noticed this good looking bird sitting on the power lines behind our home on Christmas Day. He looks like a Sharp-shinned Hawk, but he may be a Cooper's. Right now, I'm sticking with the Sharpy ID...because that would make him a new bird for the yard list!

My brother Jeff and I watched him eye-balling the shrubs for an appropriate "dining companion" for his Christmas meal. He soon gave up and flew off into the nearby woods.

Late afternoon on Sunday, the Doodles saw something large zoom over the kitchen window. I looked out the window and saw a group of Crows crowing(that's what they do) high in the trees out back. There's a sign of a hunter afoot! When I went into the dining room to check the feeders out front, the Hawk came crashing through the shrubs and evergreen and onto our millstone...with a House Sparrow as his dinner guest. One less Sparrow to feed...

I guess this House Sparrow wasn't as well hidden as she thought...Oops.

Well, he is sitting below the bird feeder!
The Sparrow is in his right talon.
When I moved in the window to get a better shot he flew off for a more intimate dinner location.


*It seems like the popular vote is going towards "Cooper's Hawk" as the proper ID of this birdie. Oh well...Thanks Barb!


  1. Great shots of your feeder bird hawk Dave! They both look like Cooper's Hawks to me. The first shot of the juvenile bird because of its mostly white breast with thin dark stripes rather than a Sharpy that would have more coarse brown breast streaks.

    The bird perched below the feeder looks to be maybe a second year bird with the reddish-brown barring on the belly, pale nape, and still having a yellow iris.

    According to David Sibley, "Cooper's Hawks often perch on fence posts or poles, as well as tree branches, while Sharp-shinned almost always perch on tree branches." An interesting observation I never realized.

    Sharpies also prefer a more hidden, forested hunting ground whereas Cooper's are commonly seen in open country, away from woodlands.

  2. Can't help with the ID, but a stunning bird to have visit the garden.
    I'm sure the other birds would disagree though.

  3. No ID I'm afraid as well, but isn't it lovely.

  4. I find hawks very difficult to i.d. Great captures, and I'll bet they'll return.

  5. Grea shots!! Boom & Gary of The Vermilon River.

  6. guess is a male Cooper's, but I know next to nothing about hawks. I know whenever I think it's a Sharpy I look again and realize it's a Cooper's. ...loved that first caption. So true.

  7. What a story! This is the kind of thing that gets me pumped up. And the payoff is your classic shot of a ?? Hawk on stone ellipse! I know you wanted that shot with the Sparrow in its talon! Oh, the agony and the ecstasy!
    I am coming down on the side of the Sharp-shinned hawk because of the white under feathers near the tail and its bib is more brown than white. This is my impression from using the Audubon field guide.
    Your blog looks great! ;-)WBW

  8. P.S. Still looking... I think the hawks are two different birds, Yes???

  9. Thanks everyone!
    I guess I need to post more mystery raptors, I've never seen this many comments!
    After looking over a few field guides, I do believe they were both Cooper's Hawks. We do have them as regular diners at our feeders, much to the dismay of our other visitors.
    I was just hoping so much for a Sharpie!
    Thanks again,

  10. Dave
    First time visitor. Enjoyed your pictures and story.

  11. Greetings from rain soaked Southern California.

    I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to :-)

    May God bless you and your family in 2011 ~Ron

    And always remember... Smiles don't have to be saved for a rainy day. It's good to waste them :-)

  12. I love seeing the hawks also. I see them swoop down and get my little birds all the time. yesterday one got a Mourning Dove. The Dove hit my window as he flew off but the hawk managed to get him in mid flight. That's nature. They have to eat also. I have Cooper hawks and Sharp-Shinned here. Happy New Year Dave!

  13. Thanks Vic, it was good to meet you today, great shots on your website!

    Ron, "Old Geezer"?, I don't think you are! Thanks for being a friend!

    Happy New Year Ginny! Keep feeding the hawks!