Birds in New Jersey 2017
2 January 2017
A glance at a sharp-shinned hawk, a small hawk that zips through our yard and lands in a tree long enough for a quick snap.
Saturday, 21 January 2017
Cooper's Hawk - our first sighting in our backyard- having squirrel for breakfast, around 10:30 a.m.
We've now seen three different hawk species in our backyard: Red-tailed, Sharp-Shinned, and now Cooper's hawk.
So far, no good photos to share of the Sharp-Shinned.
Videos: (not for the squeamish). First video is
3 minutes 8 seconds. Link to video: https://youtu.be/AZyUcSsUJzA
Eating continued in a second video: 6 minutes 15 seconds. Link to video: https://youtu.be/2sf5KNztYC4
After some time, the hawk hopped about one or two feet to the left, and then, after looking around a lot, resumed eating the squirrel.
The hawk blinks
Tender morsels of fresh squirrel
In the next two photos, you can see the hawk's throat change shape as it gulps down its food
Sunday, 22 January 2017
Cooper's Hawk - eating a small bird
Videos: (not for the squeamish). The first video is
3 minutes 43 seconds.
The actual eating takes up only a small portion of the video; after eating it cleans off its talons, hops onto two other branches, and then lifts its left leg and looks around while balanced on one leg. I spotted it when it was still plucking feathers out of the little bird. By the time I had my camera set up, it was pulling pieces off. Then it decided to gulp down the remainder in one go. Lots of distracting sounds (talking etc), so the soundtrack is muted.
Link to video: https://youtu.be/P_qVx320538
The second video lasts 40 seconds.
Because there were a lot of distracting sounds at first, the first 25 seconds have the soundtrack muted. At 25 seconds you can hear the "rubber ducky / squeaky toy" call of the (probably) female who just ate a small bird. Nearby, there were one or two calls from another Cooper's hawk.The calls sounded identical to the bird on the branch. When the second bird arrived, it was a one-year-old (based on its high-contrast, nearly black-and-white, breast pattern). The second hawk appeared to push the first hawk off the tree. The next moment, they flew one after the other out of the yard. It could be the younger hawk (the second one that arrived) was the offpsring of the first, and it was still wanting a handout.
Link to video: https://youtu.be/ETLfAHgJRXY
After a series of calls back and forth, a second Cooper's hawk arrived. The new arrival was a juvenile (one year old or less).
The older hawk, probably a female and the mother of the youngster, had yellowish markings on its underside; the juvenile had distinctive black-and-white markings.
Adult on the left; one-year-old on the right. It appeared to be "pushing" the other hawk backwards, off the branch.
They flew rapidly out of the yard, one directly behind the other.
A few days later, some familiar birds visit the birdfeeders >>
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