Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cardinal and the Cooper

Today we woke up to about six or seven inches of snow. Thankfully it was on the low side of what was predicted. I've had a wonderful time bird watching this morning and have quite a few pictures to share but I wanted to do these first. My feeders were all covered with solid sheets of ice, yet my yard was full of birds. Many of them were coming to the suet feeder which is right at my window, since it was less frozen than the rest. I couldn't believe it when this female cardinal landed right on the feeder. She was literally within a few feet of me. I wish my windows had been clear but they were splattered with snow and sleet. Shortly after this, I opened this window and cleaned it well.
Cooper's Hawk with Catch
I've sat at the windows most of the morning, drinking coffee and watching the birds trying to maneuver the frozen bird feeders and the ice on the branches. At times this has been quite funny to see. I was standing right in front of the window, when I saw this Cooper's hawk quickly swoop right by my feeder, it didn't even slow down. It flew out of my sight for a just few seconds and came right back with this starling in its talons, landing just a few feet from the feeder where it caught its prey.
Cooper's Hawk with Catch
I wanted to get a better picture and slowly began to open the window, it must have heard and quickly flew away. Well, at least I didn't have to watch it eat, and I'm sure you all are glad that I didn't have a chance to capture that event in pictures, which I surely would have done, despite the gross factor. It would have been so amazing to photograph a Cooper eating a starling in the snow only a few feet from my house. Yea, it probably is a good thing it flew away.


Carol said...

Fascinating pictures. The realities of nature, birds of prey, snow, ice. It's winter-time for sure.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The Coop did a good thing taking its prey away to eat it. It is also a good thing it took a Starling and not one of your beautiful Cardinals.

kate said...

Your photograph of the Cardinal is spectacular - a perfect close-up shot.

Your Cooper shots are good too ... the poor starling. The natural world at work, though.

J said...

Thank you for sharing your Love of photograhy and nature with all of us... My sister-in-law sent me your link and it has really helped us get through this rough time right now. Thanks again! J

Melinda said...

Can't wait to see your next bird photo, Robin! Though I'm sort of glad I didn't see the carnage... I think I need to work up to that one ; ).

Melinda, Elements In Time

rusty in miami said...

Your photos are incredible, I had a similar situation last week, a hawk caught a dove and proceeded to eat it in my neighbor’s roof. We don’t get to see that very often in the city

Dave said...

Very good picture of the hawk. We had a hawk snatch a mockingbird off our back porch over the summer. It moved so fast there was no time to catch a picture. It looked similar to your Cooper hawk but I'm not 100% positive. Great photos!

Kylee said...

Wow, Robin, what AWESOME photos!!! Just gorgeous.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Carol, aren't you glad it wasn't as bad as some were saying? We have already shoveled snow this year as much as we did all of last winter.

Lisa, I wish the Cooper had come back for more starlings, they are becoming quite a pest here now. I would have been heartbroken if it had gotten a cardinal, we have so few of them here.

Thank you, Kate. Not to be mean, but I didn't feel bad for the starling. They are becoming quite obnoxious lately, and ever increasing in number.

J, thank you for stopping by. I'm so sorry that you're going through a difficult time right now. I'm very pleased however, that you have been cheered a little through my pictures. I hope you don't mind if I remember you in my prayers.

Melinda, I had so much fun watching the birds today and have several cute pictures. I'll post them tomorrow.

Thank you, Rusty. I'm a city girl too and not used to seeing this either. It is quite fascinating to me though.

It was amazing to me how fast the Cooper was, Dave. I didn't think he got anything at first. They are such amazing creatures.

Hi, Kylee! Thank you!

School for Us said...

Incredible! And, I, too, am glad he chose (or got) a starling instead of a cardinal or something else. 'Tis nature! Thanks for sharing... once again. I love looking at your photos!

Sue Swift said...

Stupendous photos Robin. I've probably said so before, but they get better and better.