Saturday, February 4, 2012

nature journal: cooper's hawk

today's nature journal is brought to you via gchat courtesy of cool renee . . .

cool renee (cr):  are you a bird person?
me:  a bird person?
cr:  yea.  do you know bird species? there was a cat sized bird outside my window . . . don't know what it was.  took pics.
me:  wow!  send me a pic!
cr:  did you see it?!  another friend said hawk and another said owl.  i say "freaky."  stupid bird.  almost dropped my camera when it flew towards me.
me:  nope.  not an owl.  hawk.  freaky no.  it's COOL.  love hawks.  they're so regal.
cr:  your pretty hawk just attacked a bird in front of my window.  poor bird was screaming and i came out to see hawk carrying it away.
me:  survival of the fittest baby.
cr:  i am not mufasa.  take the circle of life next door please.

i would say that based on the gorgeous tail here and cool renee's observation of its behavior, this is a cooper's hawk.  this stream-lined flyer is built for speed and maneuverability as it zooms through heavily forested areas and captues smaller birds on the wing.

interesting facts:
  • the female cooper's hawk is 30% larger than the male.  this is called reversed size dimorphism.
  • the cooper's hawk does not kill its prey with its beak like most hawks do.  instead it squeezes its prey to death in its talons.  they have also been observed drowning prey by holding them underwater.
  • not only are they expert flyers, but they're runners as well, chasing prey down on foot.
  • aka chicken hawk
source:  tennessee watchable wildlife

1 comment:

  1. Pretty cool! Made me think of Foghorn Leghorn for some reason -- was he a Chicken Hawk?? LOL. Survival of the fittest is right, glad we're at the top of the food chain, hee!