A Cooper’s Hawk

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.

The hawk, below and slightly to right of large bald-faced hornet hive.
Keeping a sharp eye out for songbirds.
Cooper’s hawks eat mostly small birds.
Staying alert.

When the warblers moved on, the hawk settled in for a bit of preening.

Settle in for preening.
Just before take off.

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.

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