Friday, November 26, 2010

Fearless or Foolish?

Cooper's Hawk with Mourning Dove.
Just before heading outside to do some yard work, I checked in on my feathered friends and saw an image that made me grab the camera. A young male Cooper's Hawk in the Pine tree with a Mourning Dove just a few branches above him. At first, I thought that maybe the bird was frozen with fright, but later observed 2 additional Mourning Doves joining him.

The Cooper's Hawk kept an eye on them, but made no move towards them. I spent a few hours doing some yard work and that Cooper's was there for all that time not moving at all. As far as I know the Mourning Doves escaped unscathed. A few things came to mind as I analyzed this scene.  I wondered if the Mourning Doves did not feel threatened because he was not as big as the female that usually hunts from that same location.  On the other hand, maybe they knew he was young and inexperienced?  Who knows, maybe he was nice and full and was just relaxing taking a break from the wind and rain.  In any case, it was neat having him for company as I worked in the yard.

Cooper's Hawk in the backyard.

Cooper's Hawk in the backyard.

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eileeninmd said...

Great post and cool closeups of the Hawk!

Shervin Hess et al said...

They were wise to stay put. They would have been much easier targets in the air.

Hilke Breder said...

I love the first photo, the juxtaposition of the mourning dove above and cooper's hawk below. Nice pics of the hawk, too.