Cooper’s, for sure.

Yes! I have ID’d an accipiter and after referring to Peterson, Audubon, Nat’l Geo, Dunne, Heintzelman and the old unreliable Golden, I am at least 97% sure it was a immature female Cooper’s. Big-headed, her tail was more rounded than squared and she was definitely at least crow-sized. She was perched in a tree on a quiet road, so I was able to kill the engine and watch her from the open window. Cars make very effective blinds. I mostly saw her back, though she turned enough for me to see the russet barring on her chest. She flew down the road to another overhanging branch and I followed, driving as inconspicuously as I could . After a few minutes she dismissed me from her attention, focussing on the small movements of songbirds in the undergrowth. Nothing would take the bait and fly up, though, so after a while she and I relaxed, she adjusting the set of her feathers and I resting against the open window frame, holding my head and binocs sideways, keeping in mind Peterson’s adage, “The bird has wings. The book doesn’t.” *

In time, perhaps 20 minutes later, a bicyclist with a dog in tow rolled by and that disturbed her. A few strong wing beats and she powered off into the woods.

* Of course I take my binocs and books with me when going grocery shopping. Doesn’t everyone?

Categories: OMG bird, What am dat bird? | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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