Cooper's Hawk Nest

Ah, bird festival season is almost upon me.  Next week is the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival...although, every time I mention it to Non Birding Bill, he thinks I'm either going to a horror convention or meeting up with some odd transformers.  But I am so looking forward to birding this part of Wisconsin--it's been too long.  I see friends reporting awesome warblers and sparrows just south of us so I'm eager to see these same species next week. Meanwhile, I'm taking what I can get spring-wise here. Last week, someone on twitter pointed out a hawk nest, possibly a Cooper's hawk not to far from my neck of the woods.  I thought I'd head over and check it out.

This is a very relaxed urban hawk.  This Cooper's hawk has chosen to nest right over a south Minneapolis street.  I always think of these hawks as fairly high strung and desiring quiet, hidden areas.  Not only was this nest placed right over the road, but the hawk itself was perched in an open area.

The male didn't seem to mind my scope on him for a few moments as a digiscoped a few photos.  Usually, Cooper's hawks don't like that.

Even though the nest has been built over the street, once the buds show that once the leaves are out the nest will be well hidden. Cooper's hawks do seem to have a knack for selecting a nest spot that will be covered by leaves.

I noted all the surrounding birds singing on territory in the neighborhood, despite the male perched in the open.  Robins, house finches and cardinals all sang their song.  A downy woodpecker drummed his territory announcement on a nearby branch.  I've often heard people express concern that Cooper's hawks nesting nearby scare away other birds.  Certainly wasn't the case here.

When I worked at the bird store years ago, we had a Cooper's hawk nest nearby and even though the hawks periodically plucked off birds at the feeder (and a day old Canada goose) we had good activity all summer.  I think sometimes people see what they think they should see.

I hope I have time to check this nest through the summer and I hope it does well.