This juvenile Cooper’s Hawk has been posing outside my window all week. I rarely name wild animals, but since this guy is hanging around, I’ve nicknamed him Anderson Cooper. Why does he visit? For the pigeons and starlings that also perch here.
Here’s some video taken at dusk – please watch in HD
From this angle you can see the thickly banded tail indicating this is a Cooper’s Hawk. A Sharp-Shinned Hawk looks similar, but is noticaeably smaller. Hiding in the rusty ironwork, it has surprisingly good urban camouflage.
There have been a few other Cooper’s Hawks downtown lately, mostly juveniles, all lured by starlings and pigeons.
Here is a juvenile perched in front of the Turks’ Head Building (notice the blurry figurehead in the background).
Here’s a Cooper’s in the background with a Red-Tailed Hawk in the foreground… both stalking pigeons… you can see the Red-Tail is much bulkier. The Cooper’s is zippier and wilier.
Young Cooper’s Hawks can migrate great distances. Last spring, a banded hawk visited downtown and I was able to photograph the code while it ate lunch. I learned it was banded at Cape May Point, NJ on 10/25/2014 — 300 miles from Providence.
For comparison, here is an adult Cooper’s Hawk near Brown University:
Lastly, an old favorite… a Cooper’s Hawk waiting for a bus in Kennedy Plaza: