Have you seen a hawk in the hood?

Date: 
03/29/2014
Cooper

A Cooper's Hawk*

As Mother-Nature begins to loosen her grip on winter, one expects to see more birds and squirrels but that is not what is happening in some backyards. Dina Petrakis spotted this fellow in a tree in the Wicker Park area. He is a Copper's Hawk.

Possibly co-incidentally...and possibly not...a park-like side yard near Petrakis is reporting a loss of their significant bird and squirrel population. The wildlife have been feeding there all winter, but suddenly, Pat and Al Linnerud report, that the birds and squirrels are gone.

Doug Wood believes that birds have found a new home on Bell Ave. He reports that ever since Denise Browning put up feeders a couple of weeks ago, there have been Cardinals, chickadees, House Finches, Downey Woodpeckers as well as sparrows and an occasional squirrel or two.

Over by Wicker Park, Jane Wenger reports that she has had a Cooper's Hawk in her backyard in past years. "I found pigeon carcasses and then one day, walking out of my garage, this Cooper's Hawk was sitting on my table." Lately though, she has not seen one nor have there been any indication that one has been there.

ParkLinnerud

The real birds are gone though the not real deer remains

For you ornithology fans, here are a few Cooper's Hawk facts. According to some reports, their high speed pursuit of their prey does not always serve them well. Their willingness to dive into dense tree canopies has resulted in broken chest bones. 

The male and female Cooper's Hawk can have relationship issues too, according to All About Birds. "Males are significantly smaller than their mates. The danger is that female Cooper’s Hawks specialize in eating medium-sized birds. Males tend to be submissive to females and to listen out for reassuring call notes the females make when they’re willing to be approached. Males build the nest, then provide nearly all the food to females and young over the next 90 days before the young fledge."

Though you may not have seen one, perhaps you've heard one.

Any spotting in your area? Share them in picture and word!

*Photo courtesy of Dina Petrakis

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