Young, And Unafraid
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Yesterday afternoon I photographed a young Cooper’s Hawk that was standing on one of the pathways at Sweetwater Wetlands.
The hawk seemed to be totally unafraid of me; he allowed me to approach within less than 20 feet before flying to a low branch in a nearby tree, where he continued to observe me. I refer to this bird as “he” because he is rather small as Cooper’s Hawks go and relatively lightly built. Cooper’s Hawks display something called reverse sexual dimorphism, which is a really fancy way of saying that the girls are bigger than the boys. Back on October 6, I published a couple of photos of another juvenile Cooper’s Hawk that I’d photographed at the wetlands. I believe that one is a female because it is much bulkier than this bird.
There are several Cooper’s Hawks hanging out at the wetlands right now, perhaps as many as four of them, including two juveniles and, possibly, two adults. I’m speculating but I think that this bird and the other juvenile are siblings and that their parents, the adult wetlands hawks, must have raised them in a nest in the wetlands or very near by. Next spring the adults will probably chase off their offspring as they raise a new family.
If one wants to see Cooper’s Hawks, Tucson is the place to visit. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more of them here per square mile than any place else in this country. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t see at least one of these birds. Why are they so successful here? Well, they weren’t always. Apparently, Cooper’s Hawks are a species that urbanizes extremely well. They love to feast on the kinds of birds that hang out at bird feeders, finches and doves. Evidently, many of the people who have moved into Tucson in the last few decades put bird feeders in their yards. Hence, fat times for the Coopers and their population has expanded by leaps and bounds.
On another subject, I’ve just published a new book on Blurb. It’s called “Celebration” and you can find it on the Blurb bookstore in hardcover under that title, or in paperback, same title but a different listing, “Joie de Vivre.” The book is for sale both in hardcover and paperback and I make zero profit from any sales. If you want to preview it, go to http://www.blurb.com. Then, link to “bookstore.” Type “Celebration” or “Joie de Vivre” into the search line. There are a lot of books with “celebration” in the title; go to the second page of listings for the hardcover version. “Joie de Vivre” shows up on the first page of listings under that heading. Either way, once you locate the title, link to “preview.” When the book shows up, link to the icon in the lower right hand corner of the “preview” and you can see the entire book, full screen. Enjoy!
Photos taken with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 640, “M” setting, f6.3 @ 1/400.