Morning Watching A Cooper’s Hawk

Monday morning, I spotted an unusual bird in our backyard. A bit large for a songbird. All my regular songbird customers staying still and mostly out of sight.

We don’t often have young Cooper’s Hawks hanging out in our backyard. It’s a bit uncommon.

However, not as uncommon as seeing a brown booby in the Ozarks. How I wish this area weren’t a solid 5 (or more) hours away from me!  Wanted to share that interesting tidbit before moving on with my own slightly less exciting story of watching the hawk in the backyard.

When I first stepped outside, all the songbirds were gone but a lone dove still sat on the wire. I noticed the hawk didn’t seem to pay attention to it. However, the dove didn’t stick around pressing its luck for very long. And quickly flew off to a safer locale.

I stayed on the deck observing our new backyard “guest.” He observed me a bit as well.

Shall I “dance” for you?

My older son stepped out on the deck and even found this bird interesting enough to snap a phone photo. The little gray cat stayed by my side until she decided to start venturing into the yard and check things out. I quickly relocated her inside the back door. She’s not much bigger than some of the squirrels. And then, she reappeared coming around from the front having pleaded her case to someone inside. Relocated her again, giving strict orders to the occupants inside our house to keep her there!

Not sure this hawk could pick her up but look at those talons! Let’s not chance it.

Speaking of Squirrels

A rather careless squirrel started to scamper across the branches of the neighbor’s sycamore tree. It did not escape the notice of our visiting hawk. 

I watched as the hawk chased the squirrel around the tree. While I know a bird’s gotta eat, I’m a bit relieved I didn’t watch it snack on a squirrel. The squirrel (despite the hawk’s best efforts) remains to raid my bird feeders another day.


One effort the hawk made in the squirrel pursuit employed the use of camouflage. It flew from it’s easily spotted perch to the evergreen tree closer to the squirrel. Even though I watched it fly over there, it took me a minute to spot it.

Finally, the squirrel scampered (a bit more stealthily) to safety and the hawk flew off to a higher perch on the other side of the yard.

The Other Side Of The Yard

Again with the camouflage, it took me a minute to find the hawk after watching it fly over there.

The bright almost noon time light and height of the trees on that side made it a bit harder to get decent photos. My neck straining a bit, I went inside. Then, I heard an usual bird call. It sounded a bit like a distress call. So I went back outside to see. 

While not completely sure, I think based on the markings I saw a mockingbird letting the hawk know it’d overstayed its welcome in our backyard area. It also might have been a blue jay. Shortly after that, I did lose sight of the hawk. I’ve not seen it back since unless it visited while I’ve been at work.


After the morning with hawk, I took pity on the poor squirrel and let him eat at my bird feeder without fussing at him. However, I think his reprieve might end soon as he empties my feeder at an astonishing pace.

Other birds spotted this week: mourning doves, hummingbirds (another one not quite as bothered by the hawk), chickadees, tufted titmice, Carolina wrens, downy woodpeckers, crows (just flying over head), goldfinch (at work), cardinals (home and at work), and a group of house sparrows (they help the squirrels empty my feeders at an alarming rate!).

What birds have you spotted this week?

Joining in with the Bird Depot hosted by Anni at I’d Rather Be Birdin’.




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17 thoughts on “Morning Watching A Cooper’s Hawk

    1. Jean Post author

      Very true, however, I remain relieved that I didn’t witness his dinner. Hope you are having a great Sunday!

  1. Anni

    wow…I enjoyed the photos AND narration immensely. Great post! Thanks so much for taking time from your day to share your birding with us at IRBB this week.

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you. I was happy to have so much time to actually observe the hawk. And thanks for hosting such a great link up each week.

  2. Diane

    We do not often have hawks in our garden, but although I always hope that they leave our little birds alone, it is I feel a great privilege to see them. Great photos, well done. Have a good day Diane

    1. Jean Post author

      It’s a bit of a dilemma seeing the hawk. So majestic and fun to watch and yet, I also want my little song birds to be safe. Thank you, hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend.

  3. Eileen


    Awesome series on the Hawk! I have some here too. Especially when all my song birds go into hiding.
    Take care, enjoy your day! Have a great new week ahead!

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you! Yes, I’ve become a bit wary now whenever I see my feeders without any birds on them. Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend!

  4. P Slade

    Nice work Jean. I’m not surprised the yard birds stayed hidden as that is a powerful predator. It’s interesting that it may have eaten quite recently – see that bulge in the lower neck, the “crop” as it’s called.

    “In a bird’s digestive system, the crop is an expanded, muscular pouch near the gullet or throat. It is a part of the digestive tract, essentially an enlarged part of the esophagus. As with most other organisms that have a crop, it is used to temporarily store food.”

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you! Interesting. Maybe that’s why the squirrel survived, the hawk wasn’t hungry enough to put in a full effort. Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

  5. Rebecca Knox

    Beautiful! They’re so pretty! Speaking of unusually finds, did you see the story about the Brown Booby spotted on the Current River this week? Wow! Love your bird posts! <3

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you! I did see that, thought I linked it in my post but sometimes the links don’t always show up in e-mail (probably need to update all this but it’s technical boring stuff…really do need to figure it out one day). Really would’ve liked to see that bird but 5 hours is too far for no guarantees, plus no time this week. Hope you had a wonderful birthday weekend 🙂

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