We are in the midst of Winter and I keep looking out for possible surprises with not much luck. Nevertheless, I am still treated to most of the usual visitors including, the Red-belied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpeckers, White-throated Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Blue-Jays, Cardinals, Titmice, Red-winged Blackbirds etc. While none of these are new, I have been lucky to note a lot of raptor activity and it appears that I could have up to five Hawks hunting in the backyard. This morning, I was treated to the hunting tactics of a Sharp Shinned and it was magnificent. I would love to get some of the dives and flight on video...and I may just plan on it. I have never before recorded this many Hawks in the backyard and I am very pleased to see that even though the borough of Queens has suffered from over development, these birds have shown their resilience by adapting to the changes. Raptors are one of my favorite bird types for many reasons, including their intelligence, loyalty, grace, strength and independence. They play a critical role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem and I cringe when I hear about any loss of habitat that may negatively affect these birds. I have posted four images. The first image, is of the Female Adult Cooper's Hawk that has been a regular. The second image is of a Juvenile Cooper's Hawk. The third image is of an Adult Sharp-shinned Hawk and the last image is of a Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk. I have yet to get a decent shot of the Red-tailed Hawk, but that would be number five. Five Hawks hunting in my backyard...cool isn't it.