Raptor Wednesday

I recently found out that a pair of Cooper’s Hawks nested in Prospect Park this year. That never happens… these Accipiters usually head elsewhere during breeding after hunting in the city during the winter. I did see a pair of American Kestrels chase a Cooper’s into Green-Wood during the summer of ’18, but this year I haven’t seen much Accipiter action since the spring.
Until this weekend. Screaming Blue Jays drew me under a big weeping beech. Voila! Red eyes are a sign of maturity; they start off yellow. The reddish barring, too, is the mark of an adult. This one looked big; probably a female.
A bold, feisty squirrel was also present, less then six feet away from the hawk. The squirrel and Jays disappeared. It was just me and the big bird under the spreading beech, until I, too, retreated.

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