So often it has been the case that I would see a really special creature shortly after arriving at the Falls. I surprised this juvenile Cooper’s Hawk resting in a Cottonwood tree and it let me approach quite close before flying onto the railroad bridge. As this bird matures, the brown streaks on its breast will take on a reddish hue and the feathers on its back will become more gray. Even the eye color will turn red over time. They are fearsome and effective hunters and routinely take the pigeons that roost along our bridges. This bird has caught one of its tail feathers on the branch it is resting on giving it a somewhat awkward look indicative of its youth.
Here’s a larger image of this bird. I have photographed other Cooper’s Hawks over the years including one that was devouring a garter snake. I have seen several juvenile birds here, so there must be at least one nesting pair that call this park home. On the day I snapped this hawk I also came across a Canada Goose that was walking the shoreline. It paid no attention to the Styrofoam gathering on the beach. Wish I could do the same!
Several large chunks of Styrofoam washed ashore this time. I struggled to get these larger pieces up higher on the beach. If they are still there when I next visit, I will make something with them. I will end this time with a couple other images from this day. Here’s another Little Deer image that shows its glowing eye a bit better. And, last but not least, here is a nice picture of the railroad bridge just before sun down. This is the one that the hawk flew onto after I spotted it.