Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What Raptor?

This time of year, I tend to see a lot of eagles. Typically, I see them feeding on deer carcasses exposed by melting snows. I have seen eagles very close up and have nearly hit them with my car. As the snows go, I start to see red-tailed hawks scoping out the voles and field mouse populations as they emerge. I can recognize owls and most of the birds here, thanks in part to a friend who was an avid birder. A bird I have heard my friend speak of, but have never seen is the Cooper's Hawk.

Yesterday, was a beautiful blue sky day. Walking my boxer, I heard a bird cry. Looking around, I saw this very large (maybe 18" long) bird high in the neighbor's boxelder. The cry was distinctive, single syllable with lots of space around each call, repeated about 3-4 times waiting for a reply. It was sort of a "Pau....pau....pau..." Nothing like a typical raptor cry. Also the breast is very white, as can be seen.

The thing is this bird is not anywhere near where a Cooper's Hawk should be this time of the year.

Anyone have a idea what it could be?

1 comment:

  1. Eagles, how exciting! I was driving back from Rock Island and saw two bald eagles high up in the trees, I was thrilled. As for the Cooper's Hawk, the map at allaboutbirds.org/guide/Coopers_Hawk seems to indicate that you aren't that far away from their year-round range. Looks like a Cooper's Hawk to me but I can't be certain.