December 10, 2013

If looks could kill.

If looks could kill. by ricmcarthur
If looks could kill., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
The stare alone could get him lunch.

This Cooper's hawk was sitting in the large cottonwood at the back of our yard staring at the bird feeders.
For some unknown reason all the little birds left when it arrived.

Photo taken through the Wonderful Wildlife Window.

Scientific stuff
Accipiter cooperii
Among the bird world’s most skillful fliers, Cooper’s Hawks are common woodland hawks that tear through cluttered tree canopies in high speed pursuit of other birds.

Dashing through vegetation to catch birds is a dangerous lifestyle. In a study of more than 300 Cooper’s Hawk skeletons, 23 percent showed old, healed-over fractures in the bones of the chest, especially of the furcula, or wishbone.

A Cooper's Hawk captures a bird with its feet and kills it by repeated squeezing. Falcons tend to kill their prey by biting it, but Cooper’s Hawks hold their catch away from the body until it dies. They’ve even been known to drown their prey, holding a bird underwater until it stopped moving.

The oldest known Cooper's Hawk was 20 years, 4 months old.

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