Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The latest adventures of "our" Cooper's Hawk

I've been in Calif. since Thursday visiting grandkids for the 5 year old's birthday while Johnny stayed home and tended the farm. On Saturday night, he went into the chicken house as usual to put the feeders up to keep rodents out of them overnight, plus check for eggs. Our garden shed is in the same building, separated from the chickens by a half wall with wire netting above. Sparrows like to eat the chicken food so hang out in there. The sub-adult Cooper's Hawk that seems to think of our farm as a banquet hall, has flown out of the garden shed several times when I've gone out in the morning to feed. It apparently likes to eat the marauding sparrows. On Saturday, when Johnny entered after dark and flipped on the light, the hawk was sitting on a hose reel at the back of the garden shed. He took several photos of it, then turned off the light and left to milk goats and feed horses.

A little less than an hour later, after finishing chores, Johnny came back to see if the hawk was still there. He turned on the light, startling the hawk. It flew over his head to land on the screen wire behind him, next to the open door. It was light inside and dark outside so maybe that's why it did not go out the door. It could not get a purchase on the wire so flew back again, landing, to Johnny's great surprise, on his shoulder. He expected to be pierced by its talons but he said it just sat there, not digging in. He had put his camera away so was trying to get it out to take a photo of the hawk on his shoulder but it only stayed maybe 15 seconds (on its jiggly perch as Johnny tried to get his camera out), then flew back to the area where it had been originally and stayed there. The next morning it was gone.

This is my first morning home and I look forward to seeing if "our" young Cooper's comes to mew and beg me to feed it some birds. And, perhaps, to complain about the human who invaded its night time perch... and then would not hold still so it could get a good night's sleep.

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