Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hooper and a Cooper

I love that as a birder, I have learned a few things to help me be more observant.
When all the birds at your feeders just disappear, what happened?

Lorelei and I brought our lunches over to the front window to watch the starlings eat all of my Zick Dough. She was marveling at the tiny white chevrons that starlings have in the Winter (she didn't say chevrons, she actually called them "checks").
I was gritting my teeth and wishing quick death to all of the freeloaders, when they suddenly and loudly departed. And everyone else did, too.

I asked Lorelei to look for hawks in the trees while I got my camera.

She called out that a hawk was in a pine tree, but it had just flown away. I went into the laundry room, which has a view of our "waiting tree" (where all of our raptors hang out waiting for a helpless morsel of food to fly by).

A juvenile Cooper's hawk was nicely fluffed out and conveniently perched in the sun.

No hunting, but it did stay around for about an hour and a half.

There was some pooping:
Poopin Coop

And plenty of preening:
Coops floofy bloomers
I love this shot...Coop's have such nice floofy bloomers. Another bird who has floofy bloomers? Great horned owls. Seriously...if you get a chance to watch one, you will be envious of the padding they have back there.

Birds are rather flexible, aren't they?
(All the better to reach the oil gland by the butt, my pretty)
Coop preening
A new species....the Headless Ruffed Cooper's Grouse.

I went on with my day, but as the laundry isn't capable of washing itself, I was drawn back to the laundry room again and again.
At one point, eye contact was made:
Eye contact
Ooooo. Delicious shivers. I snapped a few photos and then averted my eyes (raptors don't like to be stared at)

This pic is thrown in just because it's fun and cute....
Hooper is a very tolerant dog. The girls can wrap him in blankets, or use him for a pillow or kiss him a million times a day. He takes it all in stride.

He can also balance ducks on his head.
Hooper and the Duck


Beth in NYC said...

Those Coopers are really good at scaring the birds away from their meals. I watched one set off a flurry at the Central Park feeders and found it interesting that the titmice were the first ones to return. The squirrels didn't seem to be concerned at all. Probably would have scattered if Pale Male (our famous red-tailed) were to appear.

I was searching the 'net the other day and happened on "Lorelei" by Styx. What a blast from the past, and not a bad song, either. Made me think of your little one. :-)

Kallen305 said...

Great hawk photos. I wish he could have gotten a starling for a meal. I counted 70 yesterday across the street from me!!

Your daughter sound as if she knows her birds already. She is going to take after her mother it appears!

Julie Zickefoose said...

Lovely post! Hooper is so sweet. Gotta love those husky eyes.

Mary said...

I was thinking just how beautiful the Cooper is and how great you did getting photos of preening. Their feathers ARE "floofy", elaborate and stunning! But then I read the "oil gland by the butt"...ugh.

Your girls are going to be terrific birders - heck they are already! need to crop that photo and frame it.

NatureWoman said...

OMG look at those Cooper photos! I'll go look at them enlarged on Flickr.
Don't you just love a patient dog? I had one when I was a little girl, too. They're the best!

Lynne said... comment disappeared...

I don't have a fat butt-
I have floofy bloomers!

Cool to make eye contact. It gives me the shivers too. I makes me feel like I know I'm in their world.

NCmountainwoman said...

My comment disappeared as well. Great hawk photographs. I especially loved gentle, wonderful Hooper. He is so patient and sweet.

Kathiesbirds said...

Susan, you always make me laugh! Hooper doesn't look amused, however!

mon@rch said...

I love Coopershawks! :)

nina said...

I keep looking for the Headless Ruffed Cooper's Grouse, but can't find any over here.
Purty bird.

Mel said...

Last pic is priceless!! lol