Cooper’s Hawk and Red-shouldered Hawk

In our own back yard, there seem to be babies everywhere – Bluebirds, Chipping Sparrows, Titmice, Chickadees, Robins, Brown Thrashers – all begging to be fed. A Bluebird pair seems already to be starting on a second nest. There’s the song of a Red-eyed Vireo and the songs and pik-a-tuk calls of a pair of Summer Tanagers, the WHEET-sit calls of Acadian Flycatcher from the creek, the squeaky-dee chatter of Brown-headed Nuthatches in the pines, the rattles and whirrs of Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, and sometimes the racheting call of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo or the traveling cuk-cuk-cuk of a Pileated Woodpecker. At least two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a male and female, are regular and frequent visitors to the feeder hanging from the deck.

Three times recently I’ve seen a Cooper’s Hawk around the edge of the woods beyond our back yard. Once it tried to catch a small bird in the white oaks next to the house and failed, then swooped to a perch on a pine stub where it sat for several minutes in full view, where I could see the ruddy-streaked breast and long banded tail and proud profile.

We don’t see or even hear Red-shouldered Hawks as often as we used to, so I don’t think there’s a pair nesting nearby in the neighborhood this season. But fairly often I do hear their kee-yer calls from somewhere in the woods to the east, so at least there are some not too far away.

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