Saturday, December 26, 2015

Cooper's Hawk Kills Dove At Bird Feeder


A Cooper's Hawk took out a large Eurasian Collared Dove at the bird feeder right before my eyes!  That is the way of Nature.... The big Dove is considered an invasive species in Florida and is probably a choice target of the Hawk due to it's large size and slowness to take off compared to native Mourning Doves. The Hawk was apparently hiding in the dense cover of the nearby oak tree and hit the Dove with an explosion of white feathers from only about 10 feet away with incredible acceleration. The bigger,slower Red Shouldered Hawks could never do that - they need much more room. Only the Red Shouldered Hawk has been seen in the Backyard before so the Cooper's Hawk is a new species documented. The jungle behind the backyard is good  Hawk habitat with dense undergrowth and tall longleaf pine trees, but that has traditionally been the breeding area of the Red Shouldered Hawks. I suspect this Hawk will be back.......it is the new top predator of the Backyard ecosystem and the squirrels need to be wary - I will need to re-examine my feeding practices if these new Cooper's Hawks start staking out the Backyard so that I don't make it any easier for them.
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Cooper's Hawk Kills Dove At Bird Feeder