Friday, September 27, 2013

Death After the Rain

A little dramatic? Yes. Yet true. First...

I started out around the azaleas to look for thrushes. There were many of them but they move so fast and often so high that it is difficult to get shots. In fact, the only bird that would come out to the edge of the branches were the Northern Cardinals.

Northern Cardinal

By the time I wandered over to Warbler Corner I was actually surprised that it started to rain. I am usually on top of that sort of thing. I was a long way from shelter. I stuffed my camera under my shirt and began the hike back to the amphitheater.

While the rain ebbed and flowed in waves, I continued to scan for birds. Soon, I noticed movement down the path. I guessed what it was before it made itself visible. An Ovenbird was foraging in the rain and it came a little toward me before vanishing back into the bushes.


Larry and Cleber joined me under the roof and once the rain let up we headed toward the boardwalk. I was scanning a moving branch but couldn't see the bird. Then Larry mentioned a hawk. It was off to the left of where I was staring. Indeed, a young Cooper's Hawk was behind some branches. It was also holding onto a small bird. Hard to tell from a distance but it was a male Common Yellowthroat.

Cooper's Hawk

For some reason the hawk dropped its kill into the water below. It then spent a while looking for it.

Cooper's Hawk

Soon, it relocated the warbler and hauled it out of the swampy water and flew off to the boardwalk. We slowly made our way around the walk to get a closer look. It pulled out a good amount of vegetation along with the bird but quickly picked through it to get to breakfast.

Cooper's Hawk

We watched for a little while and got some shots before it decided to head off to another location to finish its meal.

Cooper's Hawk

Circle of Life. These juvenile Cooper's Hawks are finally getting good at capturing food on their own. I have been watching them miss for weeks now.

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