She has returned. My Cooper's Hawk. She sits on the fence hunting small birds, hunting pigeons, hunting rats. There are rats around. Have seen them scurry under the bushes.....big black furry things. Have seen my Cooper's Hawk swoop . They have this surprise and attack method of hunting. Doesn't always seem to work. In some cases they will get killed during the surprise attack; I read somewhere that even though they are stealthy birds of prey they are quite addle-brained when it comes to hunting.
But SHE seems plenty smart to me. She watches me through the window, probably thinking I am some sort of pigeon.......
The female is slightly larger than the male. The scientific notes I read said that was because she eats more than the male......they live for about 12 years, sometimes up to 20 years. Depends on the area they favour. This one must live down in the forested area down from our house. We are close to the ocean on one side, and surrounded by forest on the other. Years ago the Cooper's Hawk was called the "Chicken Hawk" because it used to be known for killing chickens on farmlands. It will hunt any smaller bird than itself, however.
Every day I look for my hawk ( yes, I call it "my" hawk....can't help it.....she recognizes me when I'm out in the yard). She fixes her eyes on me and I can't take my eyes off her bright yellow, sharp talons. She flies silently. One minute she is there, and the next..........gone. Quiet. Hunting.