First Day of Spring, Fresh Snow and a Coopers Hawk

Hunting Hawk

The first day of spring brought me great tracking snow.  I have been out often over the last few days and have a back log of great tracking to share with you.  For now I will share something that happened to me today.

As I was walking up an old road in the woods I startled this Coopers Hawk out of the bush along the road and onto this tree branch.  It had in its talons a chipmunk.

Right on the side of the road, just feet from me where the tracks of the capture.  If you look carefully you can see Chippy’s tracks going from the middle left toward the rock on upper right as well as the wing and tail impressions of the hawk and some very fresh blood.

Coopers Hawk kill site

Chipmunk Fur


Above is some plucked fur on the snow and below the perch that I drove the hawk from as it fed.  There is fur and some meat present.


Tracking Hawks

I identified it as a Coopers by the size (too big to be a Sharpy), the slate grey color and rusty banded breast, rounded tail tip and darker cap that can be seen in the picture below.

Every time a go out with no agenda other than curiosity I am rewarded with something amazing.  It wasn’t always like that and what I find is not always so dramatic as a hawk with its prey.  The time I have spent looking seems to have broadened my idea of what is amazing and taught me where to look.  In this case I was in the right place at the right time.  Most days, anywhere but the couch turns out to be the right place at the right time.

Coopers Hawk with Chipmunk