[Tweeters] Crows and Cooper's Hawk

Rob Sandelin floriferous at msn.com
Sun Nov 11 21:28:21 PST 2007

>From 1993 to 1999 there was a nesting pair of Coopers Hawk in a large

Douglas Fir behind my house. In 1995 during the breeding season I discovered
a Cedar tree which I could climb up into and get a view of the nest and
surrounding area. I would often perch there for several hours just watching
the hawks and other birds and enjoy the view overlooking the swamp and lake.
Several times I saw one or both adult coopers make a straight flight towards
crows which had flown into the airspace around Lost Lake which is to the
north but in view from the nest tree. Almost always, the crows would fly
the opposite direction at full speed once the hawks had cleared the trees
and were over the wetland, often at a distance of several hundred meters.
The hawks would typically fly to the approximate location where the crows
had been, and circle around, then return back to the nest, or if in pairs,
split up, with one returning to the nest, while the other went off in
another direction.

I did not actually record a crow on our property until the year 2001, and
the hawks were not nesting in the area in 2000. So I am guessing that even
though the hawks probably were no longer protecting the nest site, crows
stayed away for at least another year. Since 2002 crows now regularly hunt
for songbird nestlings in May and June and I miss the protection of the
Coops, although they probably ate their share of nestlings. Coops still
show up randomly and I have not yet seen both species on our property at the
same time but I don't know if this is coincidence, since both are random, or
if its by design..

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer
Snohomish County, WA

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