Coopers Hawks

Coopers Hawk and her babies.

Coopers Hawk and her babies.

For the last three years I have been blessed to watch a pair of Coopers Hawks nest and raise their babies on my property. Yesterday morning I walked out on the back patio with Po for her early morning run. While waiting for her to do her business I caught movement out the corner of my eye. I watched and could see movement in the shadows of the woods at the back of the property. I then realized that it was a hawk on the ground and I assumed it was eating something. I watched for awhile and saw another hawk and a couple of minutes later a third. I came in and got my camera and started working my way in the direction of the three hawks. Two of them took flight but one landed on a tree stump and stayed for quite sometime.  From a distance I got a few pictures and felt lucky to have observed this event. I walked out to see if they had been eating a catch but saw no evidence of such.

Squirrel and baby hawk.

Squirrel and baby hawk.

Today I took a break from the Indy 500 and was looking outside in the same area as yesterday and saw three hawks again on the ground. I grabbed my camera and started working my way towards the hawks for a better view. I stopped behind an old pickup and watched for awhile. It was then I saw the mama hawk pick up something and drop it in front of one of the baby hawks. As I moved closer, one of the hawks took off and the other baby jumped up on a tree stump. Mama hawk then picked up the captured squirrel and again dropped it in front of the baby hawk. The mama hawk then flew up in the trees and perched above to watch her baby. Shortly the squirrel scampered over to a tree and started up the tree but stopped about 3 feet off the ground. The squirrel stayed hanging on the side of the tree not three feet from the baby hawk that was perched on the tree stump. The squirrel finally took off and left the baby hawk on its perch.

It was sometime into this event that I realized what I was watching. Mama hawk was teaching baby hawk to hunt for it’s food.  I’m sorry the pictures are not better but I was about 30 yards away and in very bright sunlight and the hawks in very dark shadows.

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