We have a couple of - what we call - "nests" up in some of the larger, mature trees in our backyard. I say that we 'call them' that because, frankly, we don't know what they are. They're these large, clumps of leaves that exist up near the top of the trees (in a crotch) that sure look like a nest, but for all I know could just be a clump of leaves that didn't fall down. Or, that was...until I saw something recently up there. On a recent afternoon, I saw good-sized hawk swoop across our yard and land right next to one of these nests. Here, below is a photo showing that hawk perched right on top of said nest. Can't quite make out what is going on? Here, below, is a slightly zoomed in version of the photo: Still can't quite figure things out? Here's an even-more zoom'd in version that I've annotated below: Well....that seems to settle things for me. A little bit. This is, most certainly, a nest. But, a nest for whom? Was the h
Showing posts with the label hawks
There were more than ten large birds flying together in what you could call a boil . Or, a kettle or even a cast. I missed much of them, but was able to whip out my phone quickly and snap these photos over our backyard on a recent afternoon. No idea what type they are, but based on my bird feeder visits, I'm guessing this was likely a boil of Cooper's Hawks . The photo below shows seven of the (more than ten) hawks in the low-flying boil.
We had a raptor visitor to our bird feeder this past week and I was able to grab a photo of him/her with their back to us. You can see it in the photo below that she was perched on the top arm of our feeder set and there wasn't another bird anywhere around. We've had other birds of prey visitors to our yard over the years and I've posted some photos of them from time-to time. Last year, I saw a Cooper's Hawk in a similar spot . And a huge bird far off in the trees . I heard an owl on my walk to the train in January of 2020 . And, most recently, a large hawk in October of 2020 . I've identified the birds in various ways, but I've always been *kinda* sure about the identification. But, this bird gave me a lot to work with in terms of looks. Looking through our birding book, I seem to have narrowed it down to two hawks. A Cooper's Hawk. Or a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. According to the book, the Sharp-Shinned Hawk is a 'doppelganger of the Cooper'
This isn't the first time I've posted about a large hawk hanging around our backyard. But, this time it certainly was the BIGGEST hawk. And the photos don't do this beast any justice. I opened up the door to let Lizzie out the back and *woosh* I see and hear this thing take off from a lower tree limb and fly away towards the taller trees in the far back of our property. I'm pretty sure it was hanging out, stalking either the squirrels or the small song birds that hang at our feeders. But, I interrupted it. The photo at the top of this post shows that bird hanging in a large tree. But, you can't tell from look at the photo, I'm guessing. Here's an annotated version. Doesn't do him justice. He was H-U-G-E. He *might* be the same one that I saw in October of this year . But, not sure (of course).
\ It is hard to determine the size of this Cooper's Hawk in our backyard, but he was big. And, I'm pretty sure he is/was a Cooper's Hawk based on the details from Cornell . The last time that I captured one of these birds of prey was back in February of 2019 when I saw one sitting on our fence. This time, he was way up on a tree limb and he hung around for a while - like five minutes - before flying off. This piece shows all the hawks that call Illinois their home, but I can't tell from it if I should change by classification from Cooper's Hawk or not.
Look who I spotted on our fence?!? A bird of prey. See him perched on the top edge? In the photo above, you can see how close he is to the fly-thru feeder that we see a lot of song birds eating at most mornings. I'm pretty sure he's a Cooper's Hawk. But, I'm not too adept at identification of hawks and my phone's zoom only does so much in terms of quality photos. I was too excited to spot him and wanted to be sure I got a couple of photos of him, so I never got around to grabbing the binoculars and peeping at him closely. For those keeping track at home, this is the second time I've posted about this kind of bird of prey visiting. The first time was back in 2012 when I posted about a hawk coming into Nat's parent's backyard in Naperville. Photo here . Turns out, identifying this particular hawk is not the easiest as according to the folks at FeederWatch , even more advanced bird identification experts get Cooper's Hawk confus