Cooper’s Hawk Spices Our Day

While our children and grandchildren live in warmer climates, and live lives that are filled with many adventures, life here on Heatherhope Farm, in the frigid winter months, can get quite boring–even more so now that, for the first time in twenty years, we have no pregnant ewes to tend.

Yesterday morning the greatest excitement was our very skilled workman, Lee, finishing up the drywalling and painting needed to patch holes in the wall and ceiling of our bathrooms left from a burst pipe that came with the “cyclone bomb” and 35 below zero wind chill just before Christmas.

Until! Until we glanced out the window to check on our scores of birds at our feeders. And there was one very singular bird. It was a Cooper’s Hawk, perched on a branch, only feet from our window. It was big enough to be a female–the larger of the species; and she was surveying her domain.

Is our Cooper’s Hawk perching on one leg to limit heat loss on a below-zero day? Photo by John.

Of course, all the woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, cardinals, juncos, sparrows and finches of various sorts, had wisely disappeared for the time.

From time to time I have wondered if birds around our feeder are all programmed to take an occasional recess. But now I realize it may not be that they need time to digest. They may all clear out and go to their respective corners when this champion of agile and muscular flight comes to hunt up her meal.

Well, it made our day to see this majestic Accipiter perching and posing so near to our window. So we just wanted to share our photos with others.

Why are the Cooper’s Hawk’s eyes to bright? Experts guess that it helps nestlings attract attention from their parents so that they are sure to be fed. We think it makes them very handsome and very entertaining in any event. Photo by John.

About John

John is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has served congregations for over 40 years, including in rural, suburban, campus ministry and urban settings. His love of Border Collie sheepdogs has been fortified by his many friendships with shepherds all around the world. Nothing he has ever or will ever accomplish is as significant as the patience God, his wife and his friends have shown in putting up with his deficiencies.
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