Cooper’s Cry

Cooper’s Hawk crying

We where walking on the levee well after sundown, when we heard a cry that sounded somewhat like a monkey. We looked in the trees, but could not see who was crying. Then we saw a bird jump from branch to branch. Finally a Copper’s Hawk settled on a branch where we had a better view, and I was able to get photos of it through the branches and leaves. It jumped to another branch where it was mostly hidden, but then a much larger bird, flapped it’s wings closer to the Cooper’s Hawk; but it remained hidden behind branches and leaves. The Cooper’s Hawk flew back to another branch where I was able to get another photo of it before it took off into the bosque. A Great Horned Owl (possibly Virginia) flew out from behind the branches and leaves into the bosque a few moments later. I presume the owl was after the Cooper’s Hawk’s chicks and the Cooper’s Hawk was trying to distract the owl with it’s crying. Great horned owls are three to four times larger than Cooper’s Hawks, and could easily make a meal of an adult Cooper’s Hawk, which is probably why the Copper’s Hawk was not attacking the owl.

Looking determined
Checking out the paparazzo or the owl or both of us.

18 thoughts on “Cooper’s Cry

  1. Hi, Tim. I have long accepted the food chain in nature. But I have never gotten used to the cry of bird parents when their eggs/hatchlings/fledglings are threatened. Life…

  2. Wonderful and exciting account of the Cooper’s Hawk, Timothy. We have juvenile Cooper’s Hawks on the hunt now, having just left the nest, and I know their sound well, as I hear it throughout every day. Ours have airy whistle-like cries. The parents have a big job, as the chicks are never small. Tough with an owl on the scene too. Really enjoyed this post.

    • True, but the owls have plenty to eat without robbing hawk’s nests as far as the hawk is concerned. Thanks, Lavinia!

  3. I’m always amazed by the clarity and sharp detail of your photos, Tim. Fun to see a Cooper’s Hawk. I hope the owl opted for some nice mice rather than hawk chicks…
    Hugs on the wing!

    • Thanks, Teagan. I believe the hawk was telling the owl there are plenty of mice for all of us.

  4. So much wild life in your part of the country! Amazing photographs… just yesterday I caught a photo of a hawk in my neighbors tree, he had a feast of baby mocking birds right out of the nest, the parents were going ballistic, he didn’t seem to care. Ugh, the cycle of life.

    • Hi Tiffany. I’ll bet the mocking birds were in ballistic meltdown mode. Not much they can do to a hawk without becoming meals.

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