[Tweeters] Cooper's Hawks in Rodgers Park

Jack Bettesworth jgbett at comcast.net
Tue Aug 5 13:27:15 PDT 2008

Hi All
This family group is included in my color banding/study of urban accipiters.
There has been a Cooper's Hawk nest in Rodgers Park the last two years. Last
years nest was in a Madrone Tree and this year's nest was in a Pine Tree, to
be exact, not the Spruce tree. If you look closely at the birds the next
time you visit them you will notice that of the four siblings, 3 males and 1
female, three have turquoise VID bands female left leg, male right leg) with
an inscribed letter/number combination - you may need a spotting scope to
read them. The adults, which make it a family of six, are also VID color
banded. The adult female is one year old this summer and is now molting into
her first adult plumage - she was banded in Rodgers Park this breeding
season. The adult male was banded Nov. 2007 on the west side of Queen Anne
when he was at least 2.5 years old at the time.
These are different adults than last year. Last years male was seen in the
Universtity District over the winter but we were not able to locate him at
any of the active nest sites this year. He was banded at Rodgers Park last
Spring. I have not had a repeat sighting of last years female.
The crows do tend to harass the Cooper's but soon learn not to mess with the
larger females, even these recently fledged birds. And once the young males
get a little older the crows learn to keep an appropriate distance from them
too as the Cooper's can quickly gain the flight advantage in most cases.

>From our observations the prey species are predominantly avian (sparrows to

pigeons) and are frequently seen near bird feeders in the winter months (I
think it is likely the occasional captures in and around your yard are
simply out of sight or at other times than when you are observing), with
only a small percentage of prey being mammals (rats & squirrels, yes -
particularly the females are capable of squirrel captures).
This family group will soon be breaking up with all members dispersing from
the nest site. So, enjoy while you can.
Any questions? Contact info below.

Jack Bettesworth
jgbett at comcast.net

Message: 5
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2008 16:58:14 -0700
From: Don McVay <dmcvay at cmc.net>
Subject: [Tweeters] Cooper's Hawks
To: Tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Message-ID: <340F1C13-9943-43CE-ABF3-D95B30D4105B at cmc.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes

Hi Tweets,

A family of four Cooper's Hawks have been observed for the last two weeks
at Rodgers Park on Queen Anne Hill. The probably nest is in an old Blue
Spruce in the middle of the park, since they seem to be hanging out near
this nest tree. The interesting thing is that the park also has several
pairs of resident crows and we have observed no mobbing interactions between
the crows and the hawks, although today a crow did dive bomb one of the
juveniles. Yesterday we watched one of the hawks with crows sitting in the
next tree with no obvious interactions. The grey squirrel population seems
to be diminishing in the park and we wonder if the Hawks are feeding on the
squirrel babies? We wonder if they could take an adult squirrel? They do
frequent the Madrone near our feeder in the back yard, but no observed
capture of the usual birds.

Don and Sandi McVay
dmcvay at cmc.net

Jack Bettesworth
2569 12th Ave W
Seattle, WA 98119-2116
206-285-5276 (home)
206-715-4645 (cell)

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