Winter Hawks
Caution - Rabid Raccoons

Déjà vu

My experiences on Friday, had the three same birds, a Cooper's Hawk, a Red-tailed Hawk and Eastern-Screech Owls, as I had last Sunday.

The Cooper's Hawk had a full crop and perched in the same spot for over an hour, west of the Wildflower Meadow.  Another birder had found the Cooper's Hawk and we went through all of the I.D. helpers listed in Kenn Kaufman's Advanced Birding chapter on The Accipiters. Variances between a perched Cooper's Hawk and Sharp-shinned, include size, tail shape and size of white band at the tip, eye placement and relative size, blackish cap on the Cooper's vs. a more uniform color that extends to the neck on the Sharp-shinned.  It was a fun discussion.

The Red-tail was closer to the Pool side of the Loch, and then flew off to the northwestern edge of the North Meadow.  It continued on towards the south, and may be one of the hawks that has also been seen in the 90's on Central Park West.  It would be great if a pair of hawks built a nest in the North Meadow again.  This would be a great time for a pair to try.  With the "Cathedral" pair having shifted their territory in a more northerly direction, now would be the time for a new pair to claim the northern end of the park.

The Eastern-Screech Owls were seen after we had given up finding them.  Both owls were in low brush and hard to spot, but the male ended up flying up to bright light by a roadway.  He's usually shy, so it was great to see him out in the open.  Our hunt for their winter cavities continues, without any success.