Nikon D300 ~ 80-400mm Nikkor Lens
f 5.6 ~ 1/640s ~ ISO 640
Taken near Olympia, Washington (USA)
I believe this is an immature Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) If I’m wrong, please correct me.
Visited the Nisqually Delta Wildlife Refuge yesterday. The day was full of surprises. I was there early, just past daybreak and had a two and a half mile walk to get to the end of the trail to see the eagles, herons, egrets and wide variety of smaller water fowl. It was a gorgeous morning and was supposed to be a gorgeous day. The key word there is supposed! I got about halfway along the trail and noticed my bright sunlight had gone missing! The wind picked up and the 38 degrees I started with suddenly felt like about 12 degrees. That was my first surprise! However, being just a bit stubborn, I pulled my hood up, put the gloves on and marched on to the end of the trail. Had a great time. Even though the refuge is mostly nothing but mud and slime and looks like a wasteland from some sort of horrible catastrophe, the birds love it. On the way back in I spotted a raccoon…surprise #2. Along the way I noticed a large group of people ahead of me stopped and all looking in the brush. You know how there is always some jerk who just has to get too close and frightens the creature being observed??? Well guess who that was yesterday. ME!! I kept walking toward the group and all of a sudden this guy came spring out of the grass and brush and flew right between me and the group just ahead of me…surprise #3! I wonder if these folks muttered under their breath about me the same way I have about others who have done the same thing when I was watching a critter!!
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) is a medium-sized hawk native to the North American continent and found from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. As in many birds of prey, the male is smaller than the female. The birds found east of the Mississippi River tend to be larger on average than the birds found to the west.
he average size of an adult male ranges from 220 to 410 g (7.7–14.5 oz) with a length between 35 and 46 cm (14–18 in). The adult male is significantly smaller than the average female, which are 330 to 680 g (11.7–24 oz) and 42 to 50 cm (17–20 in) long. Its wingspan ranges from 62 to 90 cm (25–36 in). Individuals living in the eastern regions tend to be larger and heavier than those in the western regions. All have short rounded wings and a very long tail with dark bands, round-ended at the tip. Adults have red eyes and have a black cap, with blue-gray upper parts and white underparts with fine, thin, reddish bars. Their tail is blue gray on top and pale underneath, barred with black bands. Immatures have yellow eyes and have a brown cap, with brown upper parts and pale underparts with thin black streaks mostly ending at the belly. Their tail is brown on top and pale underneath, barred with dark bands. The eyes of this hawk, as in most predatory birds, face forward, enabling good depth perception for hunting and catching prey while flying at top speeds. They have hooked bills that are well adapted for tearing flesh of prey. Immatures are somewhat larger than a Sharp-shinned Hawk and smaller than a Northern Goshawk, though small males nearly overlap with large female Sharp-shinned Hawks, and large female Cooper’s Hawks nearly overlap with small male Goshawks. The Cooper’s Hawk appears long-necked in flight and has been described by birdwatchers as looking like a “flying cross”. The Cooper’s Hawk is seen mostly flying with quick, consecutive wing beats and a short glide, though they may also soar.
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