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One less Robin

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2012 at 09:29
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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Joined: October/31/2009
Location: Oklahoma
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Points: 1723
My friend's two crab apple trees are growing close to each other and their branches intertwine, making a thick cover, within which we've seen nesting birds. Last evening, she offered  some crab apples to take home and as we walked under the trees to pick a few fruits, there was a raptor perched not 5' from our heads and unconcerned with our presence. As we watched, the raptor launched into the tangled branches and looked like it was swimming rapidly through them as it suddenly grabbed a (previously unnoticed- by us) fledgling robin in it's talons and dropped to the ground at our feet and then with an eye on us, dragged the bird away to a safer distance of just under 5 yards (later measured), and sat right there and ate the robin. We were standing next to lawn chairs, so sat down and watched the whole process.

Later, an internet search proved the raptor to be a juvenile Cooper's Hawk.
The fact that the bird was a juvenile, explained why it took the hawk over an hour to complete his meal- he hadn't yet perfected (his/her) technique or acquired adult strength. His young age may also explain why the raptor let us sit there less than five yards away, talking and gesturing during the whole event.

I was surprised to learn that our experience probably isn't that uncommon, due to Cooper's Hawks' fondness for back yards with bird feeders, although my friend had no feeders present.
Still, we'll never forget...Hawk medicine.

 


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2012 at 10:16
budperm View Drop Down
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show me your sheep!!

Joined: January/01/2009
Location: Pennsylvania
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Points: 27625
That cool Alan!
 
Couple of years ago when my mom was visinting from Florida, we were sitting on my deck in the evening.  three different robin families were in teh backyard teaching their fledglings to fly when all of a sudden all the bird starting screeching and carrying on.  We looked up to see a small Kestrel swoop down and snatch a fledgling.  The adults all went berzerk and tried to chase the Kestrel away but he just ignored them.  He then flew into a nearby tree to eat and whjithin 30 seconds there were no other birds to be seen.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2012 at 11:54
BeltFed View Drop Down
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Joined: February/12/2008
Location: Ky
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Here at the airport, I've seen several birds fall victim to the falcons that sometimes hang around here. It's also not unusuall to find a rabbit carcus hanging on the fence from a redtail hawk.
The best was a falcon that knocked a dove out of the air and it almost landed on my truck while I was monitoring a gate. The dove tried to run off, but the falcon ran it down and just started eating it. Finally the falcon became annoyed with my presence and flew off with the carcus.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2012 at 21:20
GetSome View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
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Joined: December/12/2009
Location: Oregon
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I love raptors, as does my wife who is a wildlife biologist, and she does a lot of work with raptors and other birds..... but I'll never forget the look on her face when we came home to a coopers hawk plucking her favorite chicken on our front porch ...poor girl was heart broke.  about two weeks before this happened we watched a young coopers sitting on our insulated power line to the house... he was patiently watching bats flying out from under the tin roof, and the resulting launch and kill were amazing to say the least. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2012 at 23:12
jjrgr21 View Drop Down
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Joined: January/10/2011
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my neighbor and i were talking in my driveway, and a redtail dive bombed a grackel, took off, and flew right between us. it was crazy, for a few weeks i would see it maul a squirrel in the backyard, until a golden eagle showed up and took over.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2012 at 23:13
billyburl2 View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
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Joined: January/08/2009
Location: Cottonwood, AZ
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Last year I seen a Cooper's hawk absolutely vaporize an adult pigeon! I was working at a Purina dog food plant, and had just walked out one of doors. I get buzzed by the pigeon first and as it is pulling up to keep from hitting the ground, the hawk hits it at pretty close to 60mph. Thump...both bids gone, nothing left but feathers floating in the air.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2012 at 19:11
luckybaer View Drop Down
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Joined: June/24/2012
Location: Missouri
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Points: 24
I like predators that aren't interested in making a meal out of me...
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