Category Archives: Cooper’s Hawks

Monday afternoon, raptors and their prey

The daily raptor hunt found one of the adults sitting on a branch two trees west of the nest.

5 July 2010, 600mm, 1/2000 sec, f5.6

One the ground below were evidence of two types of prey. The mouse had been rejected after a couple of bites. T’would be interesting to see if the critter were infected with sometime, since it’s the first discarded prey esnl‘s found. Nothing was left of the feathers’ source. . .

5 July 2010, 120mm, 1/6000 sec, f5.6

5 July 2010, 120mm, 1/1600 sec, f5.6

Click to enlarge the images. . .

Raptors celebrate their own independence

The Prince Street Cooper’s Hawks are growing fast, and while they may display a bit of birdling rivalry — especially when one has food and the other two don’t — they seem to get along well otherwise. A morning stroller along Prince Street in Berkeley found a pair of the critters perched together, first on a branch of one of the lower trees on the block, with one of the critters making a high-pitched squawk, perhaps calling for the missing third.

4 July 2010, 390mm, 1/2000 sec, f5.6

A few minutes later they departed their perch to find a higher branch across the street, a dozen feet or so below their nest.

4 July 2010, 420mm, 1/600 sec, f5.6

And one final shot, just because. . .

4 July 2010, 600mm, 1/2000 sec, f5.64 July 2010, 600mm, 1/2000 sec, f5.6

Note to Prince Street Cooper’s Hawks fans

There’s a new entry in the Categories sidebar. Just click on “Cooper’s Hawks” and you find the full slate of avian entries going back to the first shots on 13 March.

Junior Cooper’s Hawk grabs a bite of lunch

Once in a great while fortune smiles on a photographer, as it did today when he came upon one of the trio of young Prince Street Cooper’s Hawks sooner after the critter had caught caught another bird and was sitting down for lunch. First, he plucked his prey of feathers, stopping as the photographer sidled up to shooting range.

3 July 2010, 600mm, 1/200 sec, f5.6

Then, his lunch defeathered, the young hawk got down to business, his two siblings squawking in protest from a pair of nearby trees, upset that no sharing was happening.

3 July 2010, 600mm, w/500 sec, f5.6

The three little hawks, a Prince Street tale

While folks have been telling esnl they thought the raptors’ nest in the 2300 block of Prince Street in Berkeley had produced three young, the most he’d ever seen at one time was two.

Until today, that is.

While they’ve only be able to fly for a few days now, at least one of the triplet Cooper’s Hawks has proven to be a resourceful hunter, and this morning the critter brought back some prey to one of the lower branches of the home tree.

2 July 2010, 600mm, 1/800 sec, f5.6

As the victor zealously chowed down on a feathery Friday morning brunch, a brother/sister perched on a limb in the shadows a few feet away, looking rather wistful.

2 July 2010, 600mm, 1/400sec, f5.6

Whilst the third sib perched in a tree across the street, vocalizing a presumably jealous lament [that presumption coming from a blogger’s own experience with his offspring].

2 July 2010, 600mm, 1/800 sec, f5.6

Young raptor spreading his [her?] wings

If there’s one maxim in photographing wild critters, it’s this: You never have the right the lens for that exceptional shot. esnl was loaded up with his long lens when he went out looking for raptors this afternoon, and some nice shots resulted, especially of this young bird flexing his gorgeous plumage.

1 July 2010, 600mm, 1/125 sec, f5.6

Here’s another with the young raptor engaged in a tail feather display. One thing that struck esnl was the role of the tail feathers as a sexual signaling device, forming rings like a target directed at what Victorians once called “the organs of generation.”

1 July 2010, 600mm, 1/125 sec, f5.6

Then there’s the photo he didn’t get. A few seconds later, both parents and the second sibling arrived amidst a great deal of clamor and all four took wing — the first time the whole brood has been aloft at once — but that required a shorter lens, so, alas, you’ll just have to take our word that a marvelous sight ensured.

Sometimes a photograph just captions itself

As when esnl received the full-on glare of Papa Cooper’s Hawk early Wednesday evening. . .

Click on the image to embiggen.

30 June 2010, 600mm, 1/800 sec, f5.6