[Tweeters] Crows and Cooper's Hawk
ms_whitneyk at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 9 17:25:36 PST 2007
> We have a Cooper's Hawk that lives in our area as well, along with a 15- 20 member murder of crows. Ours is a different story. More often than not, i worry for the Cooper's Hawk as it seems to have nothing but harrassment from the crows every time they see it. From watching it fly past my window at break neck speeds with 5 crows hot on it's trail, only to be met by the rest of the group from other sides, to watching them dive-bomb it incessantly when it tries to sit in any tree or shrub close by.
> This is also the same group of crows that I watch torture small birds in our pool area for fun (which I try to stop every time I see it in action) chasing them into the glass side widows over and over until the small birds break their necks frantically trying to escape the barrage from the crows that sometimes enjoy an extra snack when not foraging on the beach or dropping heavy clam, mussel and snail shells on our roofs to break them open.
> Just like people, it takes all different kinds to make up this world.
> Whitney H.
> Des Moines, WA
>> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
>> From: 2doug at dougplummer.com
>> Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 15:59:40 -0800
>> Subject: [Tweeters] Crows and Cooper's Hawk
>> Our street has a resident Cooper's Hawk. It often perches in the chestnut tree in the neighbor's yard, where it has an unfettered view of my bird feeders. Days go by with not a peep nor a visit to the feeders, and I know that the hawk is around.
>> This morning I heard a loud, frantic call, and looked out my kitchen window to see the Cooper's on the ground with a Starling pinned beneath it. Not a bad choice of prey, I thought. As it kneaded the bird with its talons and the cries grew weaker and ceased, the two resident crows joined to watch. They did not harass the hawk, they just were paying attention. When he flew off with the limp Starling, the crows followed.
>> I've seen this before--our neighborhood crows are like our beat cops. They know the resident thugs, the accipiters that winter on the street, and monitor them. They don't mob or harass them, but they're always nearby, keeping watch. Yes, we know you have a job to do, and you have a right to be here. But we're keeping an eye on you.
>> If a strange hawk, say a red-tailed, shows up on the street, then the beat cops shout for backup. There'll be 20 crows raising an alarm, and the hawk eventually flies off in disgust. But they've accepted the ones that winter over and obey the rules, whatever they are.
>> Doug Plummer
>> Doug Plummer, Photographer
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