I was out before dawn, that’s not saying too much because the sun now rises around 7:30am; I was up and out at 6:30. A hint of light illuminated the slough and Levees. As I was setting up my camera, situating my all important coffee then gathering all of my stuff together, a Coopers Hawk landed in front of me.
I’ve been chasing this guy around for the past 3 weeks, never getting quite close enough for a successful image. I saw him/her last week on the near side Levee while on my scooter so I took to the chase. They are so very fast my 12mph was no match for what seemed like at least 60mph; I truly believe that is a close estimate. I followed for 300 yards as he was zipping around trees, over houses and under porches. I did not catch up to him, I got a moonshot photo which was deleted during editing. Three days ago I caught up with him again, this time he was being chased by Crows on the far side Levee.
I’m confident it’s the same bird as the markings on the breast match the larger image. The Crows were all over him, I’ve seen them chase larger hawks off of their habitat. The image above was taken as he was making a grand get-away, the Crows are 1-1/2 times his size. The threat they pose to the Corvids is nest robbing, although it’s not nesting season all of the critters are preparing their’s for the winter.
He wasn’t perched on the fence rail long, he saw me fumbling around then flew off. He returned 5 minutes later and landed nearly in the same spot, stayed for a few seconds then was gone. I’m fasinated by the intensity of the eyes, they seem to pierce through what he doesn’t want to look at.
It’s not a captivating picture however I am posting it to show how much larger the Crow is than the small Hawk. As I was watching them I began to question if the pursuer was a Crow or a Raven. I am suspecting Raven due to one observation, Crows rarely glide. Later that morning I was watching the Crows on the road side and sure as gravy is thick they were gliding. I plan on setting up my camera tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn near their nesting tree. By jove I will get to the bottom of this.
I’m ecstatic that I finally caught up to the Cooper’s hawk, the image of him flying under those porches then zooming straight up into the stratosphere and disappearing. It’s been fun, for me, he most likely never knew I was following him.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance