Being obtuse

When I was at the gas station two days ago, I would have sworn that I heard a Hawk (you can visit the National Audubon Society website to hear their calls). As I drove the rest of the way home, I saw a mated pair – probably my Coopers – take off from the woods bordering my housing development. They sailed east off to the direction of my house.

I think I’ve been a fool.

Going back through the blog there seems to be a long standing connection with Coopers Hawk. I need to honor that, specifically. Each hawk has its own biology and to lump them all together or not to recognize the special abilities of one is being obtuse.

Like several predating birds, such as Owl, Cooper does not “announce” its presence – it is a stealth predator. Where Owl uses a ragged feathered edge on its wing to prevent notice, the Coopers Hawk has a physical camouflage of being darker on top and lighter underneath. When attacking above its prey, the victim cannot discern from shadows that something is above it.

Not to write the obvious, but when relating to this, be aware that loudly proclaiming that you are going to do something, especially if it is something you should keep quite about (i.e. quitting a job), should be done suddenly and without warning to those who you may need to vanquish, disarm, thwart, or attack. This could be a person or just a goal you want to achieve.

Coopers kill their prey by squeezing the life out of the smaller bird – or they may even take it to water to drown it. Some of their favorite prey is Jays, Robins, Doves, Pigeons, chickens and some mammals such as chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, mice and bats.  If a bird is the victim, the Cooper will often pluck it prior to eating and they also cache food near their nest when feeding young.

Two days before the Cooper showed up in the backyard, our bird feeder had grown empty of visitors. I think they knew someone was grocery shopping in the area! City Coopers have discovered that bird feeders are an easy hunting ground. If this happens, take down your bird feeders for a few days and the Cooper will move on.

The Coopers Hawk body shape is broader, with the wings set in a manner that one of their identifiers is that the bend of the wing can reach past their head in flight. The rounder shape of its wings and tail allow it to maneuver the woods; like the rudder of a boat, these features allow it to change direction quickly around the tight obstacles of tree and brush found in the underforest where it hunts.

Not all Cooper Hawks are as adept as others. Recovered bodies of Coopers Hawk has shown skeletal damage that collusions have occurred.

A favorite hunting tactic of Cooper is to fly fast and low across the ground, and then suddenly swoop upwards over a barrier to surprise the prey on the other side. When you think about it solid privacy fences common in suburban neighborhoods provide plenty of opportunity for Coopers to enact this blitzkrieg attack.

This was related to one of the messages I had received during meditation on adapting my environment to one that would benefit me in obtaining what I needed. Moving from rural Missouri back to the city, I will need to be faster, quicker and deadlier in my pursuit. I need to remember what to keep to myself and when to show my hand. I need to maneuver around obstacles and use them to my advantage. Don’t bang my head against something I can’t move – work around it.

An adult Coopers coloring, which is a slate blue on top, with his small and compact body, makes him a bit hard to find in the forest (wild or suburban) – his favorite hunting ground. I’ve found him hard to locate even with binoculars and knowing where he was sitting. He relies upon this to obtain his prey and also to avoid his own predators – such as Owls.

The male Cooper is smaller than the female (who is about 1/3 larger) and his size makes him prey to bigger birds. He is the primary food gatherer for the couples young, with the female the primary caregiver to the young and nest defender (the nest is often prey to Owls and Raccoons). However, he does not directly feed the young; if the female is not at the nest, he just drops food off for the nestlings.

When it comes to animal behavior on gender differences and comparing those to human, I think you need to be very careful. Humans don’t breed because of biologically driven impulses; we select mates due to a wide variety of reasons and have the intellectual ability to overcome biology.

However, with drawing from the Cooper, it can be written that physically each gender is designed to achieve its purpose – the male is to hunt so he is smaller to increase his maneuvering skills; the female is larger, in order to brood her chicks and to defend.

When working with Cooper as an Animal Guide, I would draw upon what I needed from either gender, regardless of my own sex, as I am connecting with the Cooper Hawk as a representative of all Coopers. Don’t get too tied into gender differences – humans have an amazing blend of male and female dynamics no matter who they may be physically.

This weekend I will be mixing an herbal blend for Cooper Hawk. This would be a custom blend that I would use as offerings during meditation. It has to invoke Air and Forests. Force and Drive. Cunning and Keen Sight.



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