For the 3rd year in a row I have observed Cooper's Hawks nesting in Robinson Park, where the Downtown Growers Market is held every Saturday. I've had the pleasure of pointing out the birds and their nest to many folks of all ages (well, no babies), and they are always amazed, and I've learned things about hawks from them, too. So Saturday, June 10, I went to the Market and discovered an adult Hawk sitting on an open branch of a tree on the northeast corner of the park, at 8th and Copper. Interestingly it was nearly over the stand where meat was being grilled for tacos. Of course I started taking pictures  of the birdright away from every angle I could. The bird was facing north, so I crossed the street, looked back, and took more pictures:

That's when I noticed the hummingbird:

I had seen the small bird earlier, flitting around the tree, and she didn't remain seated for long here. She checked out everything around the tree and many folks saw her. Maybe she had a nest nearby. Hummingbirds seem to be fearless (they should be much more afraid of cats, who are smart enough to play dumb and lure hummers closer...) It was fun seeing the hummer trying to take charge of this situation and the hawk largely ignoring her. I got lots of pictures :)

The hawk's nest, nearby and way up, has three babies this year (again, hawks seem to like threes). I thought I saw an adult on the nest then on June 10, but inspecting my pictures later I realized the big one sitting atop the nest was a baby (dark streaks on the breast) and obviously is the strongest baby of the three. Soon they'll be creeping out of the nest on to nearby branches, stretching their wings, and mom and dad will call them to try flying because there will be no more breakfast in bed for the babies! The babies will complain (as baby birds do), but hawks have a lot to learn and always look eager to get out and take over the world!

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Replies to This Discussion

What a delightful surprise!

If you go to the Downtown Growers Market, I'll be the one looking through my camera up into the trees :) I'll be happy to share what I'm seeing.

I, too, have noticed that hummers are fearless around hawks. I've seen a Black-chin fly right up into the face of a Cooper's in my yard in challenge - not that the hawk was bothered (though he did keep an eye on his little cousin.)

Hawks are so patient... except I've never seen a pesky (to hawks) Kingbird in that park. Kingbirds warn of and scream at hawks and dive bomb them (I've got the video),but it's easy to imagine that a hawk will never tolerate a Kingbird anywhere near their nest. I've seen hummers act irritated toward Kingbirds, but the KB figure they're too fast and can outfly anything (except maybe a swallow). Also I've seen a hummer chase a robin. Hummers just don't have time for silliness. However, I do note that they can't figure out what to do about bees. In the summers of 2015 and 2016, I saw that bees had discovered why and how to mob hummer feeders (for the sweet water), which exasperated the hummers (and I got some great pictures). I switched to flying-saucer-shaped feeders, which helped, and this year I planted a lot of flowers hoping bees would enjoy them (pollen being more nutritious than cane sugar water). However, I've seen few bees. I'm hoping they have simply found better places to eat and drink and that no one disturbed the hive I think is in a big tree on the property south of where I live.


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