Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hawk in the Nest

I hadn't even had my first cup of coffee when I had my first hawk encounter this morning. I heard a strange noise out my front door, a sort of ""kac-kac-kac." I went to see what it might be, and spotted what I first thought was a squirrel in the big elm in our front yard. I realized that it was not a squirrel, but one of our Cooper's Hawks and ran to get my camera. By the time I got back it had flow off, but it had not gone far. It landed in my neigbor's tree, and I was able to take this picture.

A little while later we spotted both Mom and Dad Cooper (I assume) fly off, so I ran down to the nest to see if they had gone back home. Sure enough, I saw some movement in the nest. All I could see was a magnificent tail sticking out the side of the nest:

I assume there are babies in the nest who are getting a meal from Mom or Dad. I stayed for awhile with the hopes of getting a better picture, but I got a kink in my neck from looking up too long! They have just started reconstruction of our street, and I really hope they won't be disturbed and decide to abandon the nest. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hawk Sighting!

I had a hawk sighting out my window just less than an hour ago. I work at home out of a second story area and my computer faces a window to my backyard, which provides me with a birds-eye view (pardon the pun) of my backyard bird friends. Mr (or Mrs.) Hawk flew by and perched in a tree in my next door neighbor's yard. It stayed there long enough for me to grab my camera, switch lenses, realize that the card wasn't in it, run and find the card, put it in, and then snap a few pretty decent pictures. It was so cooperative that it even spread its tail so I think I can positively identify it as a Cooper's Hawk for certain. Check this out and let me know what you think:

It gave itself a shake (it has been raining off and on all morning) and then it flew off, most likely on the hunt for some unfortunate small creature to take back to the nest. You've heard of a wet hen, well this was a wet hawk!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Good Birding Day!

I am beginning to realize that one doesn't have to live on three acres of land in the country to enjoy the wonders of nature. It can be found right here in an urban setting if one looks hard enough and takes the time to appreciate it.

Yesterday I recieved a phone call from my neighbor who lives two housed down and is a fellow birder. A flock of Cedar Wax Wings had decided that his evergreen trees were a good place to hang out for the day and were flitting from branch to branch, apparently gorging themselves on new seeds. I had never seen this bird before so I was happy to add it to my Lifelist.

My neighbor also told me that he had heard that a hawk had built a nest in one of the big elm trees that line our street here in Fargo, North Dakota. I went in search of another neighbor who was able to point it out to me (it is so great to have good neighbors). To our suprise and delight, who else but mom or dad hawk was sitting on a branch nearby! I have to believe there are babies in the nest, although of course we are not able to see inside, but you can bet I will be keeping watch on the nest to see if any little ones emerge. I am sure this is the same hawk that I have seen fly past my second story window with an unfortunate (for the prey) bird or rodent in its grasp. Stay tuned for a hawk family update!