Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Handsome Visitor

I had a handsome visitor come to my house this week.  He just flew in all breezy and silent, and didn't want anything to eat (he already caught something along the way).  And he didn't stay long ... the handsome ones never do ;)  but he allowed me to take a couple of photos to show you ... he's quite vain!  His name you ask?  Well, Cooper ...  Mr. Cooper Hawk.

This beauty lives in my neighbourhood and I see him often.  Usually when I don't have my camera close by.  He's so fast!!   Swoops past the windows and up into a tree and Poof! ... gone before you have a minute to really admire him.  These photos were taken through the window and then I touched them up a bit to see him a bit more clearly.
I just love the birds of prey.  My son saw a Great Horned Owl out in our fir tree late one night over the holidays.  He said he heard him hooting, looked out the window and saw the owl sitting in the tree.  I didn't realize these owls were in my area, but I'm so thrilled that my son saw him.  I used to see a Great Horned Owl in the woods where I grew up.  I would go down into the woods with my little Kodak Instamatic camera trying to find him, but never did get a photo of him when I had the camera with me (of course!).  But I saw him plenty.  Usually I just followed the sound of the crows cawing because they loved to harass him when he was all sleepy from a night of hunting.
This Cooper's Hawk has been in my neighbourhood for quite a few years now.  It may be a pair that I see, but I can't tell the difference between a male & female, and I've never seen two together.  At any rate, I feed the little birds with the seeds, and I guess their noisy chatter draws him in and he enjoys one of the little birds (or rabbits) for a plump meal :[  Such is life.
I'm in the flight path of a large marsh along the shores of Lake Ontario, and we see lots of migrating birds here even though we're in town.  One day sitting in the backyard with my son after school, we happened to look up and saw quite a few turkey vultures flying over.  They migrate south too.  Well we watched quite a few before I realized there were an unusual number of them, so we started counting.  We counted over 150 turkey vultures and about 20 pairs of hawks that were circling and soaring along on the air current with the vultures!!  It was a really special sighting for us, and I've never seen the likes of it before or since.  They must've had a particularly good air stream they were being carried on and were quite high up.  sigh ... so wonderful ;)
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Well he certainly is a handsome fellow Mr Cooper Hawk!! Very pleased to make his aquaintance!! xx

  2. He's a beauty!
    I once saw one catch a mourning dove...the dove released it's tail feathers and Mr Coops went hungry for a while longer.
    Jane x

  3. He's is quite magnificent Wendy and the photo's are great to say you took them through the window. I love to watch a the little birds that come to the bird table but I've seen nothing like this, I would hate to see one catching one of the little tits or robins, I know it's nature but it makes me sad just the same. :)

  4. What a handsome chap he is - I wouldn't want to mess with that beak! I love watching the wildlife but here it's usually the little birds. XX PS Love the updated blog!

  5. What a gorgeous bird. It must be lovely to have such wonderful wildlife coming into your garden.

  6. Oh he is a handsome fella'!!! :-)

    And I love your attitude. This is all part of Nature. Birds of prey and their meals, etc. I admit, I don't have it fine tuned yet. -silly me- I used to try to chase hawks away, back when we were feeding birds. -chuckle-

    And that sight you and your son saw----the birds floating along on the thermal currents or whatever----- What a wonderful experience.

    We must keep our eyes open, mustn't we? For all the wonderful things, which come and go, so quickly...... I think taking photos, trains us to be more aware... I do. :-)


  7. Wonderful pictures Wendy. Nature at its best.

  8. He is dashing, daring and delightful! Lucky you, to have had him all to yourself, if only for a few seconds, to snap a few shots, since, as you also noted, the handsome ones never stay too long!

    Enjoyed your wonderful commentary, too!

    Have a great day, Wendy!


  9. He's beautiful - looks quite majestic in his pose. Glad you had your camera handy.
    Happy Wednesday,

  10. What a wonderful shot friend!! Amazing that you were able to catch him! And you are right about the handsome ones...ha!!! You are too funny! Your story about the owl reminded me of the children's book owl moon where the little girl goes owling with her dad at night in hopes of seeing one. Such awesomeness!!! A happy day to you friend!!! Nicole xoxo

  11. Neat! You got some great photos of him. I really enjoy watching raptors too. We have some hawks in our neighborhood and once in awhile I get a good glimpse of one.

  12. Wow Wendy what a handsome chap! I suppose silence is a big part of being stealthy!
    I could hear a blackbird today - just after sunrise and again after sunset - he must have been singing loudly as all the windows were shut tight - so great to hear him so early in the year.
    Hope Mr Hooper Hawk makes another visit - perhaps to stay a little longer!
    Ali x

  13. He certainly is a good looker Wendy, and what an interesting and entertaining post you've written about these majestic birds! I can't even imagine the sight of so many vultures flying over - magnificent - and how exciting for you and your son to witness such a thing together!
    Keep cosy! Hugs, Joy xo

  14. It is so neat that these hawks are making such a great comeback! They used to be so rare around us. We have a hawk by us. Not sure exactly what kind. But I love to watch him soar through the air. How cool your son spotted that owl. I haven't seen one in a long time! Beautiful shots!!!

  15. I love birds of prey too. We have sparrowhawks and red tailed hawks everywhere! I saw one perched on a tree a few weeks ago and I had my camera and I turned my car around to go back and take a photo and as soon as I did, he took off! The same thing happened with a sparrowhawk last fall that was perched on a small branch on the side of the road. He wanted nothing to do with me at all! I'd love to get photos like yours but no such luck. I am really glad you were able to get these photos!

  16. Wow! Occasionally a sparrow hawk will visit, and we have seen the odd owl too, but never a swarm like the one you and your son saw ... I think I'd have been a bit scared of the volume ... I'm really impressed with your photography skills Wendy, no blurry pics for you!

    Have a lovely day, lovely

    Love Claire xx

  17. WOW!!!! you took these from your window!!!! great photography Wendy. He's so beautiful. We have one that is always flying around but can never catch him. They are even bigger with wings expanded and fly so gracefully!
    Beautiful post....just beautiful!
    xx Shari

  18. Well he is a handsome fellow indeed! We have a few kestrel's that fly low in the brush by the river for the mice.. they are some sight when they are hovering!! So meticulous and precise!! It's great to watch nature, no matter how hard it is sometimes! Hazel x

  19. We usually have a bunch of red-tailed hawks flying around. Right now we have some snowy owls. The eagles must migrate as we haven't seen them for a while.


  20. very cool what an awesome sight to have viewed-hawks and turkey vultures--loved the photo you were able to get. we have seeing one flying outside our window in the afternoons but never close enough for a photo-I love the birds of prey too

  21. Brilliant pictures Wendy and what a joy to see from your window! Sarah xo

  22. Spectacular! How incredible to be able to get such great photos of a hawk. There's something mesmerizing about birds, isn't there? I've often tried photographing our winged feathered visitors around here too, but it's hard. They're either moving and/or too far away.

  23. Wendy,
    Mr. Cooper Hawk is a keeper, if even for only a few minutes! Stunning pictures! I think the turkey vultures you and your son saw in your yard flew here for the Winter! We have seen so many of them this year!
    Have a happy weekend,

  24. Fantastic photos!! We have hawks from time to time but it's usually because they are circling around the chickens. :( The smaller chickens know to run and hide quickly though.


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