Raptors and Rabbit Calls

Yesterday I walked out to the feeding station behind the bird store and flushed a Cooper's hawk. The vegetation is fairly high so I crouched down. Sometimes you can get accipiters to come back by making squeaky signs. They are a bird that acts before thinking (like me, I think that's why I accipiters so much). I thought I would try out an injured rabbit call that Carrol Henderson taught me, he says that he's gotten foxes and coyotes come within twenty feet with that call. I gave the call and a cottontail rabbit hopped right over. It saw me and then hopped back in the tall grass. I thought that was weird and most likely a coincidence so I made the noise again. The rabbit slowly crept out of the grass towards me. The more I did it, the closer it came. Before I could help myself I just started laughing and the rabbit seemed to come to its senses and hopped in the grass. The Cooper's hawk never came back, so either I did the call completely wrong and sounded like a friendly bunny or rabbits have a morbid curiosity about injured fellow lagomorphs.

I noticed that there was a whining red-tailed hawk out in the wetland so I took a quick walk over. As soon as I came into view, an adult red-tailed hawk flew right over my head and started screaming (photo above). It even did the flare thing that Brian Wheeler and Stan Tekiela taught me that eagles do. When eagles see something they think is hinky, they will kind of pause in the air and flare out the talons. It serves as a message to other eagles that something is a little off over here. Anyway, the adult red-tail kept doing the same thing over my head, flashing it's talons and screaming. The immature red-tail just kept whining and trying to catch a thermal to get up and sore. I've heard that when young birds leave the nest, parents will mob a lot more actively almost to show what is danger and what isn't. I wonder if the younger red-tail was like, "Yeah, yeah okay mom I get. Oooo, big scary human. Now what's for dinner."