Monday, March 4, 2013

Coop

Around noon today I was passing through the living room which has a bank of windows and a french door overlooking the backyard. To my amazement a juvenile Cooper's Hawk was perched in between the holly trees to the left of several bird feeders. There were two doves perched to the hawk's right and a female brown-headed cowbird eating from one of the feeders.

After shooting from the glass door I got brave enough to enter the yard from a side door and snuck up behind the hawk, positioning myself about 20' away. Once I was satisfied with the shots, I began to wonder what I would do if/when the hawk went after the innocently feeding birds. Before I could think more about that scenario, SWOOSH, off he went after the cowbird. Thankfully, he missed and flew up into the holly tree, seemingly embarrassed. It happened so fast I didn't have a chance to even bring the camera back up to my eye.

Would I have continued to shoot at the carnage or would I have stopped the hawk? After all, the hawk has to eat, too. Hmmm...guess I'll never know the answer, but I'd like to think that I would have stopped it. What would you do in that situation?

 

Yeah, I missed. So what?



40 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i would let nature be.

nice photos of him/her!

Nancy said...

Beautiful shots of the hawk. I know he has to eat and I want him to have plenty of food but in this case I would probably have stopped the food chain and let him find his food from another vendor.....I am just too soft hearted I guess.....

Gone Country said...

Gorgeous shots!

I don't know what I would do. I know the hawk has to eat too but I just don't want to witness it.

hootnonny said...

Great image! Let God be God, Gail, and you capture it!

Kerry said...

It would be best to let the hawk do its thing. But I hate it when they stalk birds at the feeder and I'm SURE I would have screamed at him/her; I don't even like it when a cat catches a mouse, although that's different b/c a hawk wouldn't torture its prey like a cat does. And a hawk would have done its deed faster than I could react.
Anyway, that sure is a beautiful hawk!

Chatty Crone said...

Unfortunately it is the food chain - which is sad.

Did you see those yellow eyes - imagine the strength and the eye site of that guy!

Phew.

Evelyn S. said...

My instinct would be to try to stop it, even if I knew I couldn't! ;-) The first image of the hawk is so fabulous, Gail! The feather detail--wonderful.

Karen said...

Stunning photos Gail! I would hope that I would let nature take it's course, but I would probably try to stop the hawk.

Barb Brookbank said...

Incredible images of this beautiful bird, Gail! So crisp and clear. I think I would have let nature unfold...

Anna said...

Such a beautiful bird, Gail!
Great shots...
Warm greetings from Holland,
Anna :))

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What a gorgeous bird.

Renae at simple sequins said...

Oh my Land of Goshen, Gail! Those photos of Mr. Hawk are TREMENDOUS!!!!

I love Eagles as you know, but Hawks are almost as mesmerizing because of their stare and their posture. Those are great photos of a great bird. I don't know what I would do. Those nature shows that show the survival of the fittest are uncomfortable for me to watch. I just want the beauty shots and not the reality stuff. hahahahaha

Thank you for your fun words and your faithful friendship!!!! (hug)

mick said...

Great photo of the hawk. I think I would have tried to stop the attack but would have hoped the hawk didn't come after me!

Fun60 said...

Great shots. I doubt I would have interfered.

EG CameraGirl said...

Very cool, Gail! I don't believe I have ever seen a juvenile cooper's hawk before although an adult female stayed in our area all winter. Maybe she'll have a family this year!

EG CameraGirl said...

Oh, I agree the hawk has to eat so it would be unfair to try to stop it from doing what comes naturally.

the wild magnolia said...

Great detail!

Hawks are big hunters. They would only hunt somewhere else.

Pristine photos.

She Who Carries Camera said...

Amazing photos! I know I'd try and stop it, although he probably would laughing inside and thinking "Yeah, right." :-)

dinascitywildlife.com said...

Great shots! So clear. I would probably scream first and then figure out what to do.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Wonderful pictures. I think I might just let nature take it's course and try to capture the whole vent on camera.

Brian King said...

Wow! This is gorgeous! I'm soooo jealous! I work my arse off trying to find raptors and they just give me the collective middle talon. Beautiful shots, Gail! I personally wouldn't interfere. Nature is nature and just because we may not like it, it doesn't make it wrong. Where we operate on emotion, animals simply act on instinct.

Hilary said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos. Wonderful captures. I would have let nature take its course and most likely would have tried to snap a few shots. Then I would have to decided whether to share them or not. Of course if it was MY squirrels whom I've come to recognize and grow quite fond of them, I would absolutely try to stop the hawk.

Buttons said...

WOW these are incredible I love the Cooper Hawk. B

Deanna said...

oh swooning here, love those shots. I saw a hawk ready to take apart a squirrel, but the squirrel started squawking at the hawk and scared the hawk away. I don't know what I would have done it the hawk attacked the squirrel, probably nothing, just probably would have covered my eyes and hoped for the best.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Gorgeous pictures -- he's a beauty! I want to think I'd let nature be. But when I was the one who put out the feeders and attracted the songbirds, then I started to worry about my part in the whole thing. (In Oregon before we sold the house we had a beautiful little kestrel that loved to visit our yards -- I had half a dozen bird feeders, so....)

Life is so darn full of gray areas!

Linda said...

That first photo of the hawk is just marvelous! It's not quite "letting nature take its course" when you've practically set the table for the predator by inviting its prey to "pose" for him. In most cases, as harsh as reality can be, I'd probably agree that wild things should be left alone. But I'm not sure I could stop the automatic reflex of trying to save the victim.

ladyfi said...

What amazing shots. The detail in the first one is quite lovely!

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Unbelievably shart pictures! I use to have my birdfeeders in the middle of the yard on a pole. I saw an orange tail hawk swoop down and grab one of the small song birds in it's claws and fly off into the next door yard. I know everyone has to eat - but I don't want to hand feed the hawk! Took down that bird feeder that evening and only have a hanging bird feeder in the tree - so the birds have some protection. If he/she really wants to get them - he/she can- but it'll have to work for it.

Stewart M said...

I think you have to let the hawk do what hawks do. It's why pictures of lions at the zoo are always sad - put a lion in cage and its not a lion anymore. Stop a hawk from hunting and its not a hawk.

Well, thats what I think!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

eileeninmd said...

Gail, wow! Cool shots of the hawks, great closeups!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I'm speechless!!!

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Very cool shots-

Cindy said...

Wow, that's a gorgeous hawk. Love the coloring and markings on its back. Not sure what I'd do. I know they have to eat but I wouldn't want to see a little bird get taken. Maybe it could wait till I left the yard.

Tricia Hays said...

i see what you mean & i'm not sure what i would have done, either, but i love these, esp the last... lovin all the red berries =)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love watching the majestic hawks soar :)

Lisa Gordon said...

He is just beautiful, Gail!

Jane said...

Beautiful shots!! I had an owl perched outside my window- so cool to observe them up close!

http://floridacreate.blogspot.com/2013/02/barred-owl.html

Thanks for sharing!

bailey-road.com said...

Great captures!

Pam ;) said...

such is the way of nature- great captures of the cooper Gail.

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

I, for one, don't like cowbirds, so I don't mind if a few get eaten. :)