Monday, January 31, 2011

Lunching with Mr. Coop......

Like all good bird nerds, I eat lunch at the window with my camera and bins handy!
If you look by the small tree, just past the evergreens, you'll see Mr. Coop having lunch also.

So, there I was, staring at the computer, editing photos(will it never end?!) when the Doodles screams down the stairs "There's a Hawk eating one of your buddies!" It's truly how amazing I can run up the stairs for a bird! I looked through the window, and the screen, and the trees, and there he sits staring back at us. A lovely Cooper's Hawk. AND he's eating my least favorite bird, a European Starling! One less pig stealing our seed! My apologies to our European friends...

This all started about 11:15am...and for some reason it made me very hungry. I had a delightful grilled ham and pepper jack cheese samich, no starling, while I watched and shot pics through the window. When I finished(he was STILL plucking) I thought I would try to get a few shots outside. I walked slowly down the driveway towards him, and he didn't care a bit. He looked up occasionally, but went right back to plucking and om-nomming the starling. What fun!

Careful, the last photo is a little graphic...sort of the last shots of a Euro-booty...

My non-birding friends will never understand...

First, I'll just peek around the fence...

Then I'll walk a little closer, being very nonchalant of course...

Deep in Hawk heaven, he doesn't care about me.

All the while this Cooper's is waiting in a tree across the street.

Doodles was working on her latest recipe, now called "Cooper's Balls" in honor of our starling remover.

Hawks would never eat these, I probably won't either.
Chia seed(doesn't make my hair grow back), spelt flour and other 'heathly' organicky contents designed for seed eaters like the Doodles.

Kind of like in the "Godfather" out for that last kiss!

" I don't share!"

A clean beak is a happy beak!


The best European Starling I've seen in a long time...
I don't think he'll be emptying my feeders anymore.

*Please note the streak going from left to right...
Mr. Cooper had to make room for more food...

* I've received a few emails and the comment from Larry suggesting the feeding accipiter is a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Any further suggestions would be great!


  1. Yikes...I love that photo of the starling head being pulled up by the Coopers...dont think i would like it as much if it was a Cardinal or another purdy burdie.

  2. Freakin' awesome!!!!!! And are you trying to tell us that some people don't have bins and camera at the window? What are they, barbarians? Love Mr. Coop on the snow. Really great pics.

  3. Thanks Dawn! I get a little upset when he gets a Cardinal as well. Luckily he seems to prefer House Sparrows and Mourning Doves. This was the first Starling.

    Ranger Anna...dudette! Freakin' Awesome is right! Can you believe that there are folks out there unprepared for such festivities?!

    *A little side note, when I came home from the slave pit, the corpse had vanished!

  4. Wowie zowie, that's the finest Hawk pictures I've seen.

  5. Nice images! Looks like the Coop got all the good parts of the starling.

  6. Sure picked that starling clean!

  7. Thanks Bob! For our American readers, "Wowie Zowie" is British for "Cracking good shot."

    Thanks Hilke, he was a full and happy bird!

    There's more Starlings about, I hope he comes back for seconds Andy!

  8. Lol..The Uk says no offence taken.. A great post and images. I thought the oven tray was filled with "basted" starlings when i first saw the pic.

  9. Great post Dave, and some excellent shots.

  10. Andrew...Doodles is one of those veggie heads...she wouldn't eat the Starlings!

    Thanks Keith!

  11. Awesome!! The pics, the post, the end result. :)

  12. Money shot! That was great, gee, you make killin' fun! And Doodles tipped you off? You owe her big time, and should eat the cookies. That's NG stuff there! Old Vulgaris paid the price for sleeping on the job.

    "So it goes"
    Kurt Voennegut

  13. Thanks Sally!

    David, I am NOT gonna eat those cookies! NO chocolate! I think the starling would have been better!

  14. Great action shots!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  15. Thanks Gary!...or did Boom write that?

  16. Great shots of the juvenile hawk Dave! The photos of the bird out in the open and the "heads up" shot are awesome. Have you considered though that this might be a Sharpie? Here's why I think it could be a Sharp-shinned Hawk:

    The breast stripes are broad, pale and not well defined unlike the juvenile Cooper's narrow, dark and well defined breast stripes.

    This bird also has a pale superciliary stripe above its eye and its head is more a tawny brown color rather than dark.

    The tail in the last two shots looks very much square to me and the stripes are wide white and narrow black. Juvenile Cooper's tail is more round with wider black stripes.

    Either way, Cooper's or Sharpie, it sure is a gorgeous bird and you captured some awesome images!

    Plus it's always nice to have some accipiters around if you have Starlings huh?

  17. Thanks Larry, you bring up a number of good points. The bird in the tree in definitely a Cooper's, but the feeding bird may well be a Sharp-tailed...a large one at that when compared to the size of the starling. Oooo...those accipiters!