A Cooper’s Hawk in a Blackbird Flock

This afternoon on a walk through the neighborhood, I stopped to watch a large flock of 150 or more Blackbirds spread out across several grassy lawns. A few were Common Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds, but most seemed to be Rusty Blackbirds. It was hard to get close to them, and hard to see them well because the light was gray and every time I moved a little closer, the closest Blackbirds flew up and moved a little further away.

Suddenly almost all of the birds flew up in a thundering Whoosh! into the bare limbs of the pecan trees scattered over the lawns, as a Cooper’s Hawk, wings and tail outspread, swooped down into the flock only a few yards away from me. It all happened fast, and the Cooper’s Hawk was unsuccessful. It flew to a high branch of another tree, near a house, where I had a nice view of its reddish breast and long, rounded, banded tail.

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