Raptor Wednesday

A yew: evergreen, dense, low to the ground. Accipiters in Green-Wood love these trees the year-around.

A bird I could not identify was making a very odd noise at the top of one of these yews recently. This is often a sign of warning or distress. I saw a squirrel shock-still under the neighboring tree, and then suddenly from the ground to my right this young Cooper’s Hawk flew up to a nearby tree.
Then it flew to another, then another, before winging away low out of sight completely.

But why was it on the ground to begin with? I went back to look under the yew.Yes, something in the nature of rat. That Teddy Roosevelt dollar coin, by the way, which I didn’t know existed until very recently, measures just a tad over an inch across.

But wait, aren’t Accipiters like Cooper’s bird-eaters? This I learned: they actually eat a fair amount of non-bird, too. One study suggested the idea that they eat almost all birds was based on incomplete observations and overestimations. The subject Cooper’s of this study, which were in Wisconsin, were awfully fond of chipmunk. Citing other studies, this study noted that five genera of mammals and two of reptiles have been seen in the Cooper’s prey mix, as well as 18 genera of birds. (Another study found that Goshawks, the biggest Accipiters, take almost twice the amount of mammals as Cooper’s.)
Meanwhile, it sure is looking like fall around here.

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