[Tweeters] Robin has a ring side seat for a coopers hawk performance

Rob Sandelin floriferous at msn.com
Sun Apr 15 22:07:07 PDT 2007

During a sunbreak today I sat and listened to the bird music for awhile.
There were lots of robins about.  A series of robins alarm call made me open
my eyes and a coopers hawk landed in a tree just above where a robin was
perched. The hawk craned its neck to look down at the robin and then the
hawk started doing its kakakaka call.  The hawk then changed position,
hopped over a branch and twisting its head sideways, looked right at the
robin and did the call again.  The robin, perhaps very wisely, stood still
as a statue.  After two more rounds of calls the hawk then circled the tree,
calling some more..  A second hawk, and I presume its mate since I have seen
two hawks together over the last week, then flew into the tree and landed on
the exact same branch as the first hawk had, and it too began calling, with
a slightly higher pitched tone. I was glued to the scene and kept expecting
one of the hawks to nab the robin.  The first hawk landed in a neighboring
tree and the two hawks called back and forth while the robin continued its
statue act.  Finally the hawk perched in the robin tree flew off and was
immediately followed by the other, both calling back and forth as they flew
out of sight in the trees.  The robin stayed frozen for another couple of
minutes and I thought perhaps maybe it was suffering from shock when it
suddenly bolted with a loud series of squawks, as if to say, "oh my god I am
alive! " I could still hear the hawks in the distance on and off for several
more minutes. Several Robins then started chattering, perhaps all spreading
the gossip of what just happened. 
Interestingly, a couple sunbreaks later I was out and about and noticed that
a hawk was perched in the same location as before. I began to wonder if
hawks have favorite perches which they use over and over? Of course this
time, there were no robins around. 
Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer
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