Cooper’s hawks are not uncommon here in Durham. Even so, I was surprised to see one perched in a willow 15 – 20 feet off the path in a black willow. The hawk watched intently as a dozen or so butter-butts flitted around the nearby wax myrtle bushes. Cooper’s hawks are almost exclusively bird eaters.
When the warblers moved on, the hawk settled in for a bit of preening.
Cooper’s hawks are one of three accipiters (long-tailed, forest hunting hawks) that can potentially be seen in our area, sharp-shinned hawk and goshawk are the other two, the latter two in fall/winter/spring only. Cooper’s hawks have successfully nested on the property here at the museum on more than one occasion.