Cooper's Hawk Hairy Eyeball

By the time you guys are reading this, I'll be on a flight to Frankfurt and then on to Kazakhstan.  Be sure to watch the blog, I'll update if I have Internet access, but more importantly, we have some great submissions from guest bloggers. Maybe you will find someone with a great voice and eye for nature that you really enjoy. hairy-eyeball

This shot just makes me laugh.  It's a stick nest, but what' most noticeable to me is the giant orange eye of a Cooper's hawk glaring back at me as if to say, "Get the eff out here, biznatch, keep it moving.  Nothing to see here."

A Cooper's hawk pair is attempting to nest in Carver Park...right on one of the main trails.  Some hawks can take this, others cannot.  I figured, since the nest was right on the trail, (I mean you can literally walk right underneath the nest), that these hawks had made an informed decision. They would have had to notice during the nest building process that this was a well used trail and said, "Rock on, I can deal with people under my nest, they're not gonna give me any problems."

As I was taking photos of her from a distance, other passed me and walked right under the nest, the incubating bird flew and screamed.  Here's a video of the woods sounds like with her scolding:


I stayed for about twenty minutes and moved on.  The bird should have been incubating, not scolding anyone along the path. I returned twenty minutes late and I could hear her off in the woods, still calling.  If she's that easily flushed on a well used trail, I'm not sure her eggs are going to get the incubation she needs.  It will be interesting to see if this nest is successful.