Saturday, 2 June 2012

Meet The Coopers

Early this spring, I noticed silhouettes in the bare trees of our backyard that didn't look like crows. After peering carefully through the window, I saw they were hawks.

Cool! Maybe they were just visiting, but I hoped I'd see them again.

Later, while getting in the car to go to work, one flew overhead, carrying twigs in its talons.

Double cool.

They took up residence in a neighbour's white pine, and ate lunch in a tall tree beside our driveway. I would often see one of them observing me from above while holding down some unknown prey under its foot. It would utter, "Kek, kek, kek," and fly to the woods across the street.

One day after work, a cat was creeping through our backyard, and one of the hawks settled in a branch above it. I took the opportunity to snap a couple of pictures with my small digital camera before it flew away.

After some research, I determined they were Cooper's hawks, with long barred tail and a rusty red chest. Sleek and graceful, they played about the neighbourhood, swooping through the trees and watching our neighbour gardening.

One morning, I stood in the backyard watching a baby squirrel hold a bit of food and chirping loudly. To my right, Mr. Cooper's hawk sat in a dead elm, watching the noisy little rodent and obviously marinating it with his eyes.

I got off a decent shot with my husband's digital SLR when one of the Coopers chased off some noisy crows. The crows thought it wise to bug out.

The trees have filled in since spring, so it's harder to see them when they give their warning call, but while I was in the yard last weekend, one of them flew right past my head.

I don't think their babies are born yet, but it will be exciting to watch them learn to fly.

Sorry I haven't been around much lately. Writing has been going slowly and my confidence lags, but I'm still trying. The rights to two of my novels have been returned to me (one at  my request) and I'm trying to find them new homes. Bad Ice is still doing well. The polo mystery sits at around 35,000 words and I'm thinking of weaving in a second thread in the detective's point of view. You can find me at my usual yappy state over at Twitter. Love ya all.