Date: 11/24/21 6:36 am From: Robert Mussey <mussey.robert...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Cooper's hawk: lost prey in brush
On the coldest morning of the year, I was headed out to fill the feeders and heated water source outside the kitchen windows, and noticed no feeder birds. That's usually a sure sign there's a Cooper's hawk around. Sure enough, when I went out the back door, a big Cooper's flushed from under the suet feeder and roosted only 20' away on our Asian pear tree, remaining there while I filled the nearby feeders. His gaze remained fixed on the spot under the suet. Conclusion: I had flushed him just after a kill, but I didn't see a pile of feathers there, so couldn't be sure.
Once I went indoors, he flew back quickly from his perch to the area under the suet feeder and proceeded to spend nearly 20 minutes hopping around and searching with determination under the dense lilac foliage and in the dense evergreen Vinca vines under the shrubs. Many times he completely disappeared into the Vinca and other low evergreens, reappearing suddenly at the far side on the gravel walk or rear granite steps. He knew it was there somewhere.
This was a first-year adult, all streaked white-and-brown chest with no reddish throat or breast, all puffed out in the cold, long tail with rounded tip edges, and probably the closest look I've ever had at one.
After 20 minutes of dedicated hunting for its prey, it never found it, and finally flew off towards the rear of our property. Not only is hunting hard, but finding it after the kill is too.