VICKSBURG, MISS. — A distant hawk caught my eye. By the time I got to the door with binoculars, it was in a steep dive, coming nearly straight at me — its dark cap registered “Cooper’s Hawk” in an instant — swooping at a Common Grackle in a tree near my deck. But the grackle escaped, and the unsuccessful predator rested for a moment in the clump of trees.
The bird took off, circling a few times to gain altitude. Cooper’s Hawks (Accipiter cooperii) are specialized to prey on other birds, their long tails steering them with incredible precision through branches and brush after their quarry.
The neighborhood Barn Swallows were not happy with the intruder and mobbed it till it disappeared.
- Gorgeous dark morph Harlan’s Hawk in Missouri
- Immature Krider’s Hawk (or intergrade?) in Louisiana
- Critters that stopped me in my tracks
- Solstice dawn