Cooper’s Hawk Caught

September 13, 2016

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Bill Maynard, a botanist and former high school biology teacher, has worked for various government agencies from Alaska to South Florida and for The American Birding Association. He discovered the 87,000 acre Chico Basin Ranch to be the perfect natural laboratory to study and photograph birds, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. Chico Basin Ranch Natural History Resources : BIRDING CHECKLIST // BIRDING MAP // DRAGONFLY & DAMSELFLY CHECKLIST //

Accipiters like this Cooper’s Hawk feed primarily on birds. Their long tail and relatively short rounded wings enable them to fly rapidly through a forest in pursuit of prey unlike Buteos whose broad wings are made for soaring.  The the dark vertical bands on the breast of the Cooper’s Hawk indicate a young bird (orangey horizontal breast bands in adults).  Laura-Marie extracted, measured, and posed with this very cool bird at the Chico Banding Station. Male accipiters are noticeably smaller than females and some have suggested the size difference in the sexes is to enable them to exploit a different sized prey base. Notice the respect given to the bird’s talons and the grip used to keep the talons away from her.