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 Forum Index > Raptors Other than Eagles > Other Raptors -- Questions, Information and General Discussion
 Coopers Hawk (accipiter cooperri)
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By: ostrich (offline) on Saturday, July 30 2016 @ 05:15 PM EDT  
ostrich

The last two Wednesday evenings I went to evening talks at the Nature Centre, and had the chance to spend some time beforehand around the nest area looking for activity. On both occasions I was able to find at least a couple of the juveniles, but there is no activity on the nest now. Both days when I've arrived at the area (around 6pm) the nest area has been entirely quiet and I've been unable to spot any of the juveniles in the vicinity.

The best method of locating them now has been just to go sit down around the bird feeder area and wait. The week before last, I stayed there about 20 min before some of the birds in and around the feeders started making some really agitated calls, and although I didn't spot where it came from, a Coopers had made a capture from the trees just further on and came flying back out. I couldn't really see, but I suspect it was probably an adult that made the capture. Once the bird flew out with food that started up the excited vocalizations of several of the juveniles, and following the vocalizations about 30 yards away I managed to spot a couple of them, one with the food. Over the next 10 min I tried to follow them as they were vying for possession of the prey, sometimes moving from branch to branch and being followed by the others either within sight or calling nearby. I never spotted all four at once, but there was definitely at least three.

This last week it was equally quiet at the nest, but again waiting near the bird feeders I did start hearing juvenile vocalizations again, this time from an area a bit further away from the nest past the area where the bird feeders are. That's probably a sign they are continuing to venture further and further from the nest as time goes on. This time I couldn't tell if there was any kind of a food delivery, but at one point I did hear some vocalizations that might have come from the adult female as well. I had to work harder this time to even spot any of them, and I finally found two, one just roosting in a bare snag, and another just barely a glimpse of flying past out of the same area.

I don't know now how long they might stay around the area or the park itself. With my local pair in the past by mid-late August they're no longer seen in the park at all, but of course High Park is much larger with a lot more wooded areas than my tiny local park. And in the hawkwatch in the fall we've seen juvenile Coopers show up either chasing birds or squirrels or roosting on the big oak tree in previous years. We've generally assumed these birds are fledged young from the High Park territory, so if true that would suggest they stay at least in High Park through part of the fall. Hawk Hill is probably about 400m or so S of where the nest area is, so they'd have to be ranging at least that far if that's the case.



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By: ostrich (offline) on Wednesday, December 28 2016 @ 11:17 PM EST  
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Today I'm happy to say I had the first sighting of a Coopers in my local neighbourhood since the spring when they vacated without nesting. It was an adult, I hope it was one of the local residents, in a backyard tree a few houses up the street from the park. I didn't have a chance to view it long before it swooped down into one of the yards. But this is at least hopeful for winter residency and perhaps activity again in the spring.



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By: ostrich (offline) on Wednesday, January 25 2017 @ 08:14 PM EST  
ostrich

I've been fortunate to have some other sightings of Coopers in the neighborhood over the past few days:

Jan 22 - I was walking along the street bordering the park on the east side, and spotted a Coopers perched in a tree, although this tree would have been north of the actual park border. I only got a short look at if before it flushed and flew past me across the road in the other direction, at high speed out of sight going low through the backyards of the houses on that side of the road. From the view I got the bird looked juvenile though.

Jan 24 - I had two separate sightings of individual birds about 45 min apart, both close to the park. The first was in the same tree just N of the park where I saw the Coopers the previous week. I believe it was juvenile on this occasion as well, surely the same juvenile I sighted further down on Sunday. However, about 45min later when coming back through the neighbourhood I spotted a full adult in a tree which is one of the ones in the SE corner of the park.

So there's definitely two separate birds in the territory, although it remains to be seen (especially for the juvenile) whether they will remain on territory once we get further towards the spring.



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By: ostrich (offline) on Thursday, February 16 2017 @ 09:14 PM EST  
ostrich

Feb 11 - I am happy to have had another nice sighting of the juvenile, I am guessing based on previous experience that she is a female, she was perched high in the backyard of a house one block N of the park. I got a nice look at her while perched, she definitely is still in nice light brown juvenile plumage with yellow eye, and quite extensive V of white mottling down the sides of the upperwings.

She flew from there about 200m away into a tree just bordering the rear of a row of backyards which are a bit further south and a bit E of the NE edge of the park. Those backyards have been a hunting area for the owners of this territory for quite a few years now, so she's undoubtedly picked up on the good hunting areas as well. I'm definitely suspecting now that for whatever reason last year's female may be gone and this could be a new female coming into the territory. A female disappearing and being replaced by a young female still in juvenile plumage has happened more than once before in this territory.



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By: ostrich (offline) on Thursday, February 23 2017 @ 09:25 PM EST  
ostrich

This week I have managed to get out before sunrise twice just to see if there are any early signs of activity in the park.

- Feb 21, at about 6:45am, I did find the sound of male Coopers in a tree right in the SE corner of the park, making periodic announcement calls. Over about 10 min that I was there he'd make some announcements for 1 minute or so, then stop and resume a minute or two later. I didn't see any sign of a female either around within sight, or making any response to the calls.

- Feb 23, I was out this time around 6:40am, and this the I heard both calls from the male and some kek responses from a tree along the NE area. I found the male first moving around the branches of a bare deciduous tree, at times he looked like he might pull at twigs or sticks, but I didn't see any actual taking of sticks or nest material. But he was almost going through some of the motions. Then I was able to spot a female also in the same tree, and interestingly both were full adults. The female after a couple of minutes flew off towards the opposite SE end of the park. Shortly after the male flushed and flew in the same direction, but stopped in a tree along the E edge probably about 50 ft away. He did make some announcement calls, but I'm uncertain of whether the female had actually exited all the way out of the park at that point. Interestingly, the male then flew right out of the park to the S, and I could catch some glimpses of him flying around across the road to the S of the park, he may have been reacting to some other bird which was also flying around and I could catch occasional glimpses of between the houses bordering the park. I'm not clear that was actually the female, it may have been some other raptor nearby.

So this looks like an indication that there are once again two full adults birds on territory - since that juvenile had been around earlier in Feb, I've been suspecting that bird might be a new addition to the territory, as a female bird which might be taken on as a mate by the male. But this suggests probably that isn't the case, and perhaps that juvenile female was simply spending some wintering time in the area or passing through. It may have moved on now, or at least is not occupying the terrritory.



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By: ostrich (offline) on Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 08:35 PM EST  
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On Sunday I was able to get out at about 6:30am to High Park and spend a bit of time in the vicinity of last year's nest, and by about 6:40 I was hearing some vocalizations by the resident adults. They were mainly close to the area of the bird feeders, which is about 50 yards or so away from last year's nest tree, but still fairly close. There were several flights over to different trees accompanied by vocalizations, and at one point a flush of the male from his perch in a way that I would see in a food exchange, but I couldn't see any actual food.

I did see one stick broken off and flown up to a tree, but it was a tree close to the feeder area, I didn't see any activity on last year's nest tree. There is a nest already which according to the Nature Center folks was their nest the year before last. So it may be some time before it is determined which tree they will use this year.

Around 7am their activity was interrupted by the arrival of a red-tail which came in and landed in a tree fairly close to where both Coopers were perched together. There was a squirrel right in the tree the RT landed in which might be what it was interested in. However both Coopers started making quite agitated kek calls for about a minute or so, then they started taking action. They were obviously not happy at all with the presence of the RT and one of them started by getting up in the air above the level of the RT and then coming down to flush it off the branch. Then both chased it off out of sight to the east, very aggressively flying right on its tail and then swooping at it with bursts of extra speed - I believe the female might have actually made contact a couple of times. They are clearly protecting their territory certainly.



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By: ostrich (offline) on Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 09:10 PM EST  
ostrich

In my local territory, I was able to get out before sunrise on Monday and caught a bit of activity - the first sighting of one of the adults I caught was in a tree across the street from the S border of the park. For about 10 min I did catch sight of both adults eventually within the park itself but no nest building activity, mainly just a couple of flights to different perches and some exchanges of vocalizations. Eventually they ended up moving out once again towards the S direction.

This evening when going out about 5pm I was driving along the road going past the E border of the park, and a Coopers came flying low over the road right past from the E side of the road into one of the backyards directly adjacent to the park. I stopped and went looking along the yards from the park side, and spotted the Coopers just as it was flying again low in almost a coursing sort of flapping pattern, and landing again about 30 yards N of the park edge. It was an adult, so surely one of the residents, and was obviously hunting. When I lost sight of it once again it was gliding low through another set of yards along the N edge, probably looking for bird prey.



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By: ostrich (offline) on Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 07:50 PM EST  
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This morning I was out at about 6:15am in the park and I was able to catch some brief activity with the pair. They were both in the same large tree in the NE most corner of the park that I've seen them several times so far. Shortly after I found them in the tree the male moved over to the same branch the female was on, and after some short vocalizations there was a copulation. That's the first one I've seen this year, but it's another obvious sign at least of courtship.

However thus far I still haven't seen any nest building activity at all within the park. Shortly after the copulation, the male took off and flew low through the yards towards the N. The female also moved over to a tall roost in one of the trees just at the NW corner of the park, which is close to where I've seen her move to on two other similar occasions thus far. She started making some loud keks from that tree, I suspect she could likely see the male somewhere in the surrounding yards, and I suspect he was being requested to do some hunting for her as part of the courtship process. After a few minutes she also flew out of the park, but somewhat in a more NW direction.



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