I was sure I had posted this story in August 2021 after it happened, but I apparently got distracted by my mom’s death and didn’t post the incident with a Cooper’s Hawk. I mentioned the story to Brad, who had posted a story on Brian’s Wildlife Intrigued, and Brad wanted to see photos. It took me a while to find the photos because I couldn’t remember right off hand when the incident took place.
I was out on the beach photographing the pTerodactyl one afternoon in late August 2021 when a dove came flying straight at me with a Cooper’s Hawk on its tail. The dove took evasive action at the last second to avoid crashing into me, which made the hawk do the same thing. I was trying to get photos, but everything happened quickly, and the dove and the hawk were too close for the Bazooka to focus on them since its minimum focus distance is 11 feet. The hawk and dove collided right above my head, but the hawk could not grab onto the dove. The dove flew into the salt cedar, and the hawk flew into the bosque.
I checked on the dove, and it seemed to be okay. As I walked from the river bed into the bosque, the hawk was waiting for me. It flew over me, chattering up a storm, and then it landed on a low branch about 15 feet from me and started giving me a beak lashing up one side and down the other about me messing up its kill. That hawk chattered at me for several minutes, flew to another branch, and chattered at me some more before it flew into the salt cedar to see if the dove was still there.
Cooper’s Hawk flying away after colliding with the dove.
Cooper’s Hawk flying to a tree to scold me as it flew over me.
Cooper’s Hawk telling me off for messing up its kill.
Cooper Hawk flew into the salt cedar to see if the dove was still there.
Out at 4:00 am dancing with the stars and planets and La Llorona and Chupacraba
Since I got home late tonight, I didn’t do any redneck roofing. Instead, I went out to check on the owls. We had not seen any sign of the owls for the past 3 days. I think part of it was the fire department was running their super noisy airboat up and down the river all weekend watching for fires in the bosque. On Thursday, 30 acres of bosque burned south of Montaño Blvd., about 8 miles south of us. All was quiet tonight. The first bird I encountered looked like a juvenile Western Blue Bird. Then Daddy Owl came swooping through the property and landed on Susan’s tree. I thought he was going to get a squirrel squirreling around up ahead of me, but he didn’t go for it. But then our bunny came running out and he showed interest in the bunny. Laurie bravely stood between Daddy Owl and the bunny as we told Daddy Owl to leave our bunny be. We told him he can get all the squirrels and gophers he wants, but we draw the line when it comes to our bunny.
As we were heading to where the owlets hang out, a Cooper’s Hawk buzzed us and landed on a nearby tree for a few seconds. When I got up to the Tangle Heart Tree, Mama owl was just taking off to go shopping. The owlets were there peeping like crazy wanting Mama and Daddy to bring them food. A few minutes later Mama Owl returned and gave Mary whatever she caught. When I looked at what Mary had in her beak in the photo, it looks like a cicada, but I can’t say for sure. Mama, flew back to Wowlmart, as Shey calls it, but it was getting dark, so we didn’t stick around to see if she or Daddy Owl came back with anything interesting.
Mars and Jupiter
Daddy Owl on Susan’s tree eyeing our bunny. He gave up after we told him no.
I buried a raccoon pup at dawn Found him by the steps Heartless and emptied Secretly sacrificed Under half-moon? Rose at two Such a mystery
With last rites fitting any innocent soul Tucked in under spadefuls of sandy soil Laid to rest, secured for eternity A spark of life lit Snuffed, sacrificed So much misery
The poem above was inspired by a poor baby raccoon, gutted and left near our doorstep. I don’t know what killed it, but it seemed very sacrificial. I’m packing several day’s worths of photos into this post because of the possibility that other things will come up, and many of the photos not get posted.
Click on the galleries below to see a slideshow of the photos in their correct aspect ratios.
Grosbeaks, Hummer, and Towhee the Line
I am Wood Duck hear me roar!
Got Your Goose and Goslings with Cormorant
Cooper’s Hawks’ Hanky Panky
Fuzzette, Major Tom Peppers out of the nest with Mona Lisa and Sleeping still in the nest, Mama Owl, Daddy Owl, Daddy Owl, Mama Owl, Daddy Owl
A Cooper’s Hawk standing on the edge of the water in the clear ditch. I don’t know whether he was meditating, fishing, our thinking about taking a bath. After we spotted him, he looked like he was trying to decide whether to carry on with what he was doing or fly away. He finally few.
†You may have noticed I’ve been putting up lot of animated gifs lately. This is because I finally upgraded my old Core Duo Macbook Pro to a newer Macbook Pro with a Quad Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM. The last three generations of OS X had become progressively worse about managing memory on the Core Duo system, so doing much of anything was slow and cumbersome. It got the point that the special effects programs and add-ons wouldn’t work and I could only have one major program open at a time to accomplish anything in reasonable time. For over a year now, what looks like special effects in my photos are created from what I can do with exposure and adjustments in Camera RAW and that’s it, because, as I mentioned, all of the effects software quit working properly. Before the hardware upgrade, creating a simple, tiny, 2 image gif crashed the system. The latest OS X works very well with an i7 processor, so now I can create gifs until my heart’s content. They are a good way of putting multiple images on the WordPress side of my blog as either a preview or just fun images to look at before clicking through to the photo blog.
This Cooper’s Hawk was trying to catch a flicker for breakfast. They flew by really fast, the flicker flew into the cottonwood and the second the hawk got into the cottonwood, the flicker made an instant u-turn and flew back over me and off to another cottonwood. The hawk couldn’t make a u-turn and landed on a branch, giving me the opportunity to photograph it.
René had dinner with me again tonight. I was talking to him and asked him what he thought about a few things to which he replied with belches. I just can’t imagine where he learned to belch!