It has been another slow week of birding. Migration is happening, but only at a trickle. We see a few migrants everyday but not in any numbers and the best we have done on any given day was 9 Warbler Species and that was only in ones and twos. The Red-eyed Vireo above and the Yellow-throated below were my best two migrants this past week. Linda Fell had a beautiful male Blackburnian Warbler for probably the best bird of the week.
I did get my first nice shot of a Coopers Hawk this week. This guy swooped in and posed for 5 minutes before rushing off after breakfast. I posted his picture along with the young Red-shouldered Hawks picture to illustrate a couple of the tell-tale identification points to separate these two.
The first thing I usually look at is the tail. A Cooper’s has really large stripes while a Red -shouldereds are much more tightly spaced. The iris on a Cooper’s is yellow until they are full grown and then it is quite red. The Red-shouldered on the other hand generally stays the same brown color through all age ranges. Cooper’s Hawks tend to have a more rounded head than Red-shouldered but this one is a little more a feely thing that takes time to aquire. On young specimens, when you can see their chests the real easy give away to which one it is is the shape of the markings. A Cooper’s Hawk has large tear-drop shape markings while the Red-shouldereds are triangle or heart-shaped … I find this a very easy way to tell these two apart!
Night Herons are always a treat to see and there has been a pair a Yellow-crowned around for a couple of months now. They tried to make a nest a couple of times but the female is a one year old bird, we watched her grow up, and they just didn’t seem to be able to get it right.
Finally these two cuties. These guys are siblings and there was no monkey business going on. Mom Racoon had just walked under the boardwalk when they spotted me and the first one stooped short and the other just grabbed hold for security! Look at the muddy paws on those two!
Thank you so much for stopping by! Hey Sis I’m glad you found my blog!!