The Local Coopers Couple

Although I’d rather be out working, it’s definitely been very rewarding getting out every morning and getting to know some local birds. The Cooper’s Hawks are gearing up for the arrival of their chicks and I’ve been following progress and documenting their fascinating activities. 

I’ve been observing three pairs with nests here in Seattle. The nest building began about three weeks ago and the location of one of the nests allowed me to closely follow the collection of the twigs and branches used in construction. 

The work was shared but the female seemed to be the supervisor, while the male, maybe being a bit inexperienced, behaved a bit like the class clown. 

The larger female was more skilled at choosing and transporting branches; she appeared to pick a suitable branch in advance, then fly in to break it off and bring it back to the nest located in a small stand of poplar trees. 

The male however was more active and mobile during most of my sessions watching them. 

And how do I know which was the female and which was the male? This is how:

A couple of weeks down the track, and the female of all pairs on the nests I’m watching seem to be incubating. It’s hard to be sure that they’re all still active as the female is often not visible on the nest. I do know that one pair are so far successful, as I watched the male hunting close to the nest, jumping onto the ground from low branches and presumably searching for small rodents or the like. 

So, even though this time of Covid sometimes makes me feel like this:

I’m not too unhappy as long as I can get outside with the birds! 

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