Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cooper’s Hawk

A Cooper’s Hawk at the bird bath is not necessarily good news. This accipiter is moving into subburban and urban habitats—they are small-bird specialists and small birds are often abundant in these areas. They prefer nesting in deciduous forests (the similar, but smaller, Sharp-shinned Hawk nests in forests that are dominated by conifers). The good news is that they also take squirrels and chipmunks, often not loved by birders. Since the mid-1900s, Cooper’s Hawks’ numbers have been on the increase, recovering from shooting and pesticides (Curtis et al. 2006).

Cooper’s Hawks were named in 1828 by Charles Bonapart for the ornithologist, William Cooper. Cooper was the father of James Cooper, for whom the Cooper Ornithological Society is named. The hawk in this blog was photographed in a residential backyard in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

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