Just a few hours ago, SIL Loretta sent me an amazing picture. She has given me permission to tell the story, and share the photo.
She said, "When I looked out the window this morning, I saw that my birdbath had been knocked off its pedestal, for the third time, and was all in pieces this time. I immediately blamed the raccoons.
Then I looked over towards my fence and saw a huge rotund bird. I tried to get a photo from my bedroom, but could not zoom in enough, so I sneaked outside and came around the side of the shed…stuck my camera out and clicked. Got the photo, but then he flew away when I tried again."
Here's a crop of the photo she sent:
I'm pretty sure this is an immature Cooper's Hawk, Accipiter cooperii. If the entire tail were visible, I could be more sure. However, the large head and short wings really make me think Cooper's. Loretta and the hawk are in Alabama, so the range is appropriate (for the hawk... I think Loretta's happy there too).
The rest of the story: "I was shocked when I looked down at his feet when I zoomed in on the photo and sad to see one of my friends in his claws. When I was first watching him from my bedroom window, I thought he was preening his feathers... boy was I wrong about that."
Well, you know me. I am really sorry for Loretta's broken birdbath, and for the loss of her pretty little friend. But I love the hawks too, and they also have to eat. Cooper's and sharp-shinned (the other candidate for the ID) both eat mostly small birds.
At any rate, we can probably all agree that Loretta got a great picture!
|See It's For You to see Loretta
See Red-Tailed Hawk It Is