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Cooper Blur

cooper flight33Friends, this Cooper’s Hawk is still protesting his capture and banding, or maybe the loss of a feather, floating in the lower middle of this image.  Hawk Ridge is an exciting place to be in the fall, lots of birds migrating and some are caught, banded, adopted and released back into the wild blue yonder. But I have a question, is this a pleasing blur?? til Tomorrow MJ


My Cooper

Release of the Cooper

Friends, this beautiful immature Cooper’s Hawk was released after being banded, i was able to keep the head in focus but the rest of the wings and the end of the tail were beyond the depth of field.  This bird flew directly over my head at very close range so i was lucky to get any images at all.  This image shows the sharply banded tail that is characteristic of the Accipiters. The image below shows the long legs and his new leg band.  til Tomorrow MJ


Friends, this image is an immature Cooper’s Hawk compared to an adult shown below.  They are larger than their cousin the sharp shinned, but smaller than their other cousin, the Goshawk.  Like their cousins the hatch year birds have yellow eyes, vertical chest feather pattern and chocolate brown back feathers.  When they grow to adult birds, the eyes turn to red, the chest pattern changes to a more horizontal pattern and the back and head get a dark gray.  Collectively these hawks are in the Accipiter group and in the air they have long tails and short wings so they can quickly maneuver thru the woodlands to catch their prey.  The Cooper has a loose ruff of feathers on the back of the head that is sometimes raised, you can see this ruff on the adult bird below and a hint of it in the immature bird. Enjoy your coopers hawk until tomorrow when we release him back to the wild.  til Tomorrow MJ

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