Cooper’s Hawk – intense and agile

A wonderful sighting of a hawk. I was driving down into an S-curve that goes through heavy, decidious woods on both sides, when a hawk glided right in front of me! He was really CLOSE! He was traveling from the right side of the road to the left – from tree’d area to another tree’d area.

Getting home and looking through the id books, I’m pretty sure it was a Cooper’s Hawk due to the location of where I saw him (woods), body shape (head was further in front of his wings then the Sharp-Shin Hawk) and the wonderful pattern of his wings.

This Accipiter has a different body shape then the Red Tailed Hawk or Red-Shoulder Hawk with no orange/rust color on the underbelly. He also prefers forests, where the Red-Tails and Red-Shoulder’s like open area to hunt. Because I clearly saw his head extended beyong the bend of his wings, I don’t believe he was a Sharp Shinned Hawk whose head is not as extended in flight. The tails of these two birds differ also but I don’t remember noticing the tail yesterday so can’t use that as my identification clue.

The Cooper’s Hawk is an agile bird, flying through brush and forest with dexterity, with a hard-core focus on it’s prey: mostly smaller birds. It flies with a flap-flap and then glide motion between perches.

The sighting took place on the day I gave my 2-week notice at the clinic. I’m still thinking over what this meant and at this time just know it was really, really lovely to see this beautiful raptor so close up!

That morning when I left the house at 6:40 a.m., Grenwinae heard a low, faraway “hoot” in the backwoods and I was lucky to hear Owl myself that morning – very faintly in the distance – giving me strength I think.


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