Tuesday, September 11, 2012

WBW - Cooper's Hawk and...

I spotted this Cooper's Hawk way up in one of the neighbor's trees as I was pulling out of the garage to head to work one day last week! I immediately shut off the car and hustled to get my camera. It was quite far away and I couldn't tell exactly what it was but it was big enough I knew it had to be something good.

Above is one of the first pictures I took and when I spotted that striped tail I nearly fell over.
I didn't know what it was but I knew it was a hawk (of course) and that tail is so amazing!
He sat there for a minute with his back to me, focusing and re-focusing those amazing eyes,
he got himself turned around and then....

He took off!!!! I could tell he was getting ready to and this is the only shot I managed to get,
it happened so fast. Much as I would have liked to catch him with his wings out I think this is a fun shot,
he just hurled himself off the branch and I caught him mid air.

I got myself turned around and realized he had landed in my yard!!!!
Right on the fence in the middle of the bird feeders!

Then he jumped off the fence in to my yard and was very intent looking inside a bush.

Check out the intensity!!
It's out of focus but you can still see it!
Right after this he hopped in to the bush and a little bird came shooting out the other side.
Scary moment for that little one!!!

Then he hoped through my raised garden bed and on to the edge,
not 15 feet away right in front of me.
I barely managed to breath!!!

Then he turned around hopped back up on to the chain link fence,
 this is ight as he was about to pop up in to the tree.
Absolutely stunning!!!!
 I never saw him leave the tree and that had to be the end of my morning adventure, I was afterall on my way to work when I spotted him so I had to go!

Later that day when I got home from work, I had another first,
this handsome Male Downy Woodpecker showed up at my suet feeder.
I've seen a femal around on many occassions but this was the first time I'd seen a male.
This was the only picture I got before he scooted away!

He was back the next day,
it's so exciting to see a bird for the first time,
and such a relief when you see them again!

Not a good picture but I like it because it shows those 2 red spots on the back of his head.

And a few days later I had my 3rd life sighting,
not as exciting as the Hawk or the Woodpecker but new birds to me just the same.

Band-Tailed Pigeon

They tried hard to get to the feeders but ended up on the ground.

I counted as best I could and came up with 12, I think there might have been 1 or 2 more.
They have been visiting regularly, once a day or so, in smaller groups for the most part.
They help keep the ground cleaned up so it's ok with me.

A very good week for me!
3 more notches on my camera!!



  1. If the jewelry thing doesn't work out for you, you could have a second career as a bird photographer! Such great photos!

  2. Lots of lovely photos!
    I know exactly how you felt, not daring to breathe!
    You got some very good photos of the hawk! And the others!
    Greetings Pia in Sweden

  3. Wow, Kristi! Amazing photos. That hawk is sure a handsome fellow! Your pictures really capture his beautifu feather patterns!

  4. Great photos! We have over ten birdfeeders on our property, and it's always such a thrill to see the rarer birds. I've never seen a Cooper's Hawk!

    We have lots of Mourning Doves, a relative of the pigeon, and they are such funny birds. I once scattered feed on a deck railing, and one of them walked along the railing, trying to eat. However, its big feet kicked the feed all off before it quite got its beak there :-)

  5. Amazing photos!! We have a Cooper's here that chases the quail in and out of the sagebrush but he is never still enough to take pics.

  6. Great hawk captures!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  7. Great photos of the Hawk hope you were not to late for work.

  8. Excellent hawk photos! That's really cool how he hung around the yard and ended up so close. That photo is beautiful! Stuff like that doesn't happen often. Love the pigeons, too. We don't have those.

  9. A great series of photos. The hawk is magnificent!

  10. What an absolute treat for you to have such a close and personal encounter with the Cooper's.

  11. Wow, cool shots of the hawk. Love the action shot. The woodie is another favorite of mine. Great birds and photos.

  12. My word....if I had a sighting like that in my own back yard, they'd have to pick me up and pour cold water in my face to revive me!!! Incredible hawk images. I enjoyed your pigeons too, I've not seen any like that before.

    Silent Silhouettes

  13. Great shots of the hawk...they do like to hang around feeders. Congratulations on your firsts!

  14. I am really enjoying seeing your life list grow, great photographs. This morning there was a kestrel hunting in our yard, the quail were making their displeasure known from deep under the desert peach and sage bushes.

  15. What a set of yard-birds! The hawk is wonderful.

    Thanks for linking to WBW - and sorry for late reply, I was in Dubai all last week and work rather took over my life!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia