While doing yard work this week, I noticed this creature perched on a tree in my front yard. Copper’s Hawks often visit suburban homes to pick off songbirds from feeders.
I have also seen them in Brecksville Reservation – they among the bird world’s most skillful fliers – their short wings allow them to navigate through cluttered trees at high speeds in pursuit of other birds.
Cooper’s Hawks are forest and woodland residents, but suburbs with enough trees are a favorite habitat as well.
These crow-sized raptors mainly eat birds. Small birds tend to be safer around Cooper’s Hawks than medium-sized birds. They sometimes rob rodent nests and mammals are more common in diets of Cooper’s Hawks in the West.
While they can soar in classic hawk fashion, when in pursuit of prey, their flight changes. It becomes becomes powerful, quick, and very agile, allowing the bird to thread its way through tree branches at top speed.
Other common names for the Cooper’s Hawk include: big blue darter, chicken hawk, flying cross, hen hawk, quail hawk, striker, and swift hawk.