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Old Mar 20, 2005, 9:16 AM   #1
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I was lucky enough to get some shots of a hawk with a fresh killed sparrow. Critiques, comments and hawk ID welcomed. I believe the hawk may be a young one. Woody



http://www.pbase.com/woodysworld/image/40493331

http://www.pbase.com/woodysworld/image/40493330

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Old Mar 20, 2005, 11:10 AM   #2
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Those are some really close shots of a feeding hawk. Is that a bird you are training? I noticed the glove on your hand but don't see any tether on the hawk. How did you get so close to the bird while it was feeding? It is definitely a immature bird. Perhaps a juvenile Coopers Hawk, Sharp-shinned or Goshawk? Nice series of photos at any rate.

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Old Mar 20, 2005, 1:13 PM   #3
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smac,

We feed songbirds, which attracts small hawks on occasion. This one was after a sparrow and slammed into our dinningroom window, stunning itself. I covered it with some cloth so it wouldn't hurt itself. I used a glove to hold it while I released it. It flew to a nearby tree and I found the dead sparrow. I tossed the sparrow towards the hawk and, to my surprise and delight, it swooped down and began feeding. It allowed me to approach while it fed. It was not about to let that sparrow loose. I shot an entire 512mb card on my D70 using the 18-70mm kit lense. once in a lifetime I believe. Thanks for the comments and possible ID. Woody
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 1:57 PM   #4
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Wow that's quite a story. Thanks for filling in the holes. You're right that's an amazing opportunity. I suspect the hawk might have felt a little less anxious because of your display of concern and caring. I viewed the other pictures of the hawk in your gallery and you have a great series of shots. I am very envious. I have a friend who's been a falconer for 16 years. I will see if he (I know he can) shed some light on the species of your hawk friend. I will let you know what I find out.
All the best,
Steve
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 3:08 PM   #5
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Some really good shots. That first one is almost comical the way he looks
"cross-eyed."
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 4:20 PM   #6
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smac...I appreciate the help. I'd love to find out what type of hawk it was. Woodmeister...he may have been cross-eyed after hitting the window. Take care, Woody
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Old Mar 21, 2005, 10:59 AM   #7
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Woody,
I sent the link for your pictures to my Falconer friend so he could see the hawk. He just about came un-glued. He thought you were engaged in unlawful falconry and wanted to turn you in to USFWS. At that time, neither of us new the full story of how you came to have the bird in the pictures. I sent him your response about how the bird had been stunned by the collision with your window. He was concerned because he thought you were starving the bird into submission. Because the hawk's eyes weren't normal and it didn't even seem to fight back when you were picking it up he thought the hawk was sick. Now that we know the whole story he has relaxed.
It's been a good lesson for me on how having only half the story can lead to misunderstandings. By the way, the hawk was an immature Coopers Hawk probably a male. Sorry for the boruhaha, I hope everything worked out for the hawk,

All the best,
Steve
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Old Mar 21, 2005, 11:09 AM   #8
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Steve,

Wow! It did escalate a bit didn't it? I applaud your falconer friend for being concerned. Too many folks do abuse our wildlife, many without even realizing. The young male Coopers Hawk is alive and well. I've seen him a couple times since the photos were taken. As far as I know, he hasn't caught anymore songbirds in our backyard since the sparrow. But he has cruised the area and scared the devil out of them. I imagine he'll head north soon. Now if those Ruby Throated Hummingbirds would hurry up and get here...

Thanks much for your help. Take care, Woody




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Old Mar 21, 2005, 11:55 AM   #9
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Woody, you are welcome. I just got off the phone with my friend and he was giving me a real lesson on raptors. Fascinating stuff. He said that the Coppers hawk you helped was probably starving. It is not uncommon for immature Coppers Hawks to suffer 85% mortality within the first year. Winters are tough on young hawks. Andy is a very dedicated "Hawker" as he likes to say. He has the highest respect for his birds and his hobby. I have found him to be a fantastic resource and a great teacher. We both teach middle school science but my forte is physical science and Andy's is Biology.
I am glad to hear that your young hawk is still alive and kicking. Maybe he will be one of the lucky 15% to make it.
Take care and thanks for the pictures,

Steve
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