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A Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk – If You Sit Still, They Will Come…And Pose

August 18, 2014
Juvenile Coopers Hawk perched on branch

Juvenile Coopers Hawk perched on branch

Sitting at my desk yesterday, I was dumbfounded to see a hawk flying straight at me, at eye level, just over the top of my computer. I had a momentary sense that I was in the world of Harry Potter and owls were filling the air. But as the bird got closer, I could see that it was a juvenile hawk and it was alone. By chance my camera sat next to me.

Well, let me correct. Not “by chance” did my camera sit next to me. I have actually been trying to remember to set the camera up, lens cap removed and all-purpose settings set on the outside chance something this way cometh. Yesterday my preparation paid off.

Juvenile Coopers Hawk perched on branch

Juvenile Coopers Hawk perched on branch with head profile

When the hawk was just ten feet from the window, it glided smoothly to a branch about ten feet off the ground. To my eye, the hawk was now blocked by the eves of the house. So, s-l-o-w-l-y I brought the camera to my eye and put my cheek nearly on top of the desk. I think now I must have gingerly closed my laptop computer. With much awkwardness I contorted as low as I could and began to shoot photos of the bird. I knew the hawk would not perch there long and that any move I made was likely to scare it off. We weren’t more than ten feet from one another.

Juvenile Coopers Hawk perched on branch with some tail feathers showing

Juvenile Coopers Hawk perched on branch with bit of tail feathers showing

Throughout this post are four shots I got. I finally did scare it off as I tried to turn my camera to get a portrait shot that would include both the head and the tail in one frame. I was disappointed to not get that shot. But whether I turned the camera or adjusted the focus length, I was sure to send the bird on its way.


Juvenile Coopers Hawk perched on branch

Truthfully, I’m happy as can be with these photos. The talons are menacing but the delicate droplet-shaped markings on the chest are beautiful.

I think this is a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk. Please feel free to correct me.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2014 12:36 pm

    Stunning photos. I adore birds of prey. You might like my post on the British Wildlife Centre. Take care. Emma.


  2. August 22, 2014 11:40 pm

    What a beauty! I haven’t had the chance to see one of these yet. According to Cornell’s eBird sightings, a few people have spotted one in my area; so I’m crossing my fingers to get a glimpse. I did happen to see a Black Vulture the other day in my back yard that took me by surprise.

    Great photos, Mary!


    • August 22, 2014 11:58 pm

      Thanks, Patricia! I love the photo, and I think it’s a Cooper’s hawk. It’s that or a Sharp-shinned hawk. They are hard to tell apart and I’m far from expert! Glad you enjoyed the photos!


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