My field trip to the Waltham St. Fields had a rather interesting experience today. We saw a large, immature Cooper’s Hawk sitting in the trees along the channel. Once we got up to the water, we were getting good looks at the Wood Ducks and Green-winged Teal that were mixed in with the Mallards when the hawk decided it wanted one for lunch. It dropped over the water and hovered above the ducks for several seconds. The ducks flapped but didn’t take off and the hawk had to return to the trees. This repeated several times and by the third or fourth time I remembered I had my camera. Pictures aren’t great, but they do show a bit of the action.
The hawk was clearly concentrating on the smaller ducks but the ducks were smart enough to stay on the water, so it remained empty-taloned.
One thought on “Duck Hunt”
Jason, a very nice journal of the days events, and an unusual target for an accipiter, I’ve never seen ducks as the target. Usually it’s pigeons or passerines in my yard. Recently we saw the white-winged crow at the Belmont Hill School joining its black companions in harrassing a Cooper’s hawk and chasing it away. Paul Roberts says the young accipiters are “stupid” i.e. they have to learn a lot by trial and error, and there are lots of errors. But somehow many of them make it to adulthood. –John
Comments are closed.