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young coop? on back fence -- now a sharpie too?


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#1 paulkienitz

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:34 PM

Our backyard feeders have been drawing huge crowds lately, after being mostly ignored in the warm months. This morning we got everything from nuttall's woodpeckers to a ruby-crowned kinglet, from a brief but intense visitation of western bluebirds to a rather rare yellow house finch...

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...but unfortunately, attracting birds also attracts cats -- about four of them like to come through regularly, but fortunately none of them are good hunters. But even worse, they're attracting cooper's hawks. At least, I think this is probably a young cooper's hawk:

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This isn't the first time it's come through here. One time I was out there wielding a broom and this guy (or one very similar) swooped right behind my head. The songbirds had no time to clear out. He didn't catch any, though... yet.

#2 paulkienitz

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:38 PM

some bluebirds:

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#3 cestma

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:14 PM

Wow, gorgeous bluebirds!

I just consider the Cooper's one more magnificent bird to observe. Remember that predators often serve to maintain diversity. :)
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#4 JimUSNY

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:46 AM

you just need more starlings.. I welcome the coopers, they really do seem to prefer starlings and doves around here anyway.. sharpies though tend to go after the nicer birds.. but they gotta eat too.. just make sure your feeders are close to good cover
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#5 paulkienitz

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:22 AM

Actually, this town has lots of starlings, though they don't come around my yard.

Also lots of collared-doves... though now that we've got crowds at the feeders, we're finding there are a lot more mourning doves left than we thought there were. I hope the coops don't end up going after those -- they've got enough problems already.

#6 creeker

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:41 AM

I remember back when you wanted to see a Cooper's Hawk. :)
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#7 cestma

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:52 AM

Actually, this town has lots of starlings, though they don't come around my yard.

Also lots of collared-doves... though now that we've got crowds at the feeders, we're finding there are a lot more mourning doves left than we thought there were. I hope the coops don't end up going after those -- they've got enough problems already.


Eek--mourning doves and cardinals are their favorite prey at my place. :( Though with collareds around, they might very well switch!
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#8 paulkienitz

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:51 PM

This morning we thought that young coop had come around again... but there were two anomalies. First, it was small, and second, it was acting completely goofy. it landed on top of a fence near a bush full of sparrow and juncos, and then started walking along the fence toward the birds. They skittered away to the far side of the bush, and a few flew to the next tree. Then it hopped down to the ground and started stalking among the bush's trunk stems, looking up the birds with no idea how to get at them. The dumb bird seemed to think it was a cat. Then it got disgusted and took off.

I'm assuming it was a juve sharpie.

#9 cestma

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:55 PM

Darned uncooperative of those finches.
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#10 Totah Sam

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:11 AM

I have a sharp-shinned that is terrorizing my flocks. I don't mess with it though. A hawk's gotta do what a hawk's gotta do. :P
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#11 paulkienitz

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:17 PM

This one seemed to be pretty incompetent at terrorizing. The songbirds were sitting there two feet away from it, feeling perfectly safe in the tangle of branches. The coop, on the other hand, scares me when it swoops in.

Speaking of finches, right now my mission is to try to spot one of our house finches being purple. The gf thinks they're in there.


[Argh, one of those cats we thought were too bumbling to worry that much about just caught a white-crowned sparrow.]

#12 creeker

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:12 PM

Paul, I've seen Sharpies and Cooper's exhibiting similar behavior before. Usually the smaller males. I thought, "How incompetent he looks!" Then the next thing I knew they had prey in claw and were booking out of there. It does seem funny to see them stalk on foot. Maybe they're hypnotizing their prey with those crazy eyes! :blink:
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#13 paulkienitz

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:04 AM

One of our feeder friends finally got devoured today. From what the gf says, the successful perp was a kestrel.

#14 JimUSNY

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

I have sharpies, coopers, and red tails all soaring over my yard looking for lunch, however I dont know why I can never see them perched, or hardly ever anyway... the birds take off and I know one is in a tree somewhere but man I hardly ever get to see them.. they are good hiders, and I have seen them stalking prey on foot, maybe the prey birds dont realize its a hawk unless they see it from underneath, I know they know that in flight shape that's for sure..
Red Shouldered I have perched in trees all year except winter.. the birds do not care much about them being around
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#15 paulkienitz

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:42 PM

We went hiking on a nearby hill and saw a ton of red tails, but they never come near the yard. They're probably too big to be much interested in trying to catch house finches and juncos.

#16 paulkienitz

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

Well, the young coop got one. And apparently it did catch it on foot. Ate it right in front of the other birds.

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Or wait, is that in fact a coop?

#17 DHSBirdman

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:49 PM

Yeah, that is a Cooper's hawk. Or else it is Creeker sneaking in for a snack! LOL. It sure looks like Creeker's avatar. My yard Cooper's Hawk nailed a pigeon yesterday which is fine with me. I am ok with him nailing Mourning Doves or Pidgeons, but not Gambel's Quails. I never see mine ever catch any of the little guys, the House Finches, House Sparrows, Lesser Goldfinches, Brewer's Blackbirds, or White-crowned Sparrows. I have so many big birds in my yard that he does not waste his time with the small guys. Now the Roadrunner that comes in my yard sometimes does try to catch the little guys, but I have only personally seen him be successful twice in the last few years.

The American Kestrels and the Red tailed Hawks always hang outside my back yard looking out over the open desert behind me leading up to the foothills of the mountains about a quarter of a mile away. They fly over my yard once in a while, but almost never land in it. The Cooper's Hawks and occasionally Sharp Shinned Hawks are the ones that come in my yard the most.

#18 Peeplvr

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:11 PM

I agree, cooper's hawk. One that looks odd though, maybe very "streaky" for a cooper's. Well, I guess I mean bold markings onthe body.

#19 paulkienitz

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:30 PM

I don't know what bird it got, but the crowd it pulled the victim out of had been observed earlier to be primarily house sparrows and secondarily white-crowned sparrows.

#20 DHSBirdman

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:44 PM

Paul, what part of the country do you live in? You seem to get a lot of neat birds in and close to your yard.




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