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Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)

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Tony Angell Reflects on Nature

Tony Angell, gazing on Puget Sound, writes: "From the beach below, that evocative perfume of the sea, decaying kelp, is wafted up on the breeze... Near the shore, disputing kingfishers rattle in their mercenary manner, chasing one another... Behind me, in the woods, a Cooper's hawk chants and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Bird Scare - Interview with Carl and Rita Comfort

When it's time to pick their four acres of wine grapes, Carl and Rita Comfort would rather the birds didn't beat them to it. Without some form of bird control, they could lose about 10% of their harvest. So at their vineyard, Comforts of Whidbey, they broadcast the distress calls of birds, to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

Sizing Up Birds of Prey

In most birds - if the sexes vary at all in size - the male is larger. But with many hawks and falcons, the pattern is reversed. And female birds of prey are most notably bigger than males among hawk species that hunt agile prey, such as other birds. Perhaps the female Cooper's Hawk's larger size... read more »

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Riding with Red-tails

Traveling home after a flight into Seattle’s Sea-Tac airport, you might share a ride on the shuttle with a Red-tailed Hawk! To protect passengers, planes, and birds, airport biologists Steve Osmek and Bud Anderson capture raptors for relocation away from the airport. Then, as a public service,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Shifts in Habitat = Shifts in Species

We asked David Sibley, creator and illustrator of The Sibley Guide to Birds, how changes in the environment are affecting birds such as this Brown Thrasher. He says, “A shift of habitat has caused a shift in the species” he's observed in the Northeastern US. For example, Wild Turkeys, Pileated... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Identifying a Bird in Flight

One of the most difficult skills to pick up as a birdwatcher is how to identify birds in flight. You have to sort through a series of visual clues all at once, at high speed: silhouette, wing shape, how fast it flaps, and patterning. An experienced birder will take in all these and other clues... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

How Much Do Birds Eat?

There used to be a saying about somebody who doesn’t eat much — “she eats like a bird.” But how much does a bird typically eat? As a rule of thumb, the smaller the bird, the more food it needs relative to its weight. A Cooper’s Hawk, a medium-sized bird, eats around 12% of its weight per day. For... read more »

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Urban Cooper's Hawks

Next time you’re in the city, look up. When pigeons are wheeling, you might just see a different bird in pursuit. The Cooper’s Hawk, once known as the “chicken hawk,” used to be in steep decline due to hunting and the effects of DDT on breeding. Today, it’s the most abundant of the bird-eating... read more »

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