That's One Dirty Bird

Tonight, I was putting away groceries and Non Birding Bill was talking on the phone He came into the kitchen flailing his arms at me while still carrying on his phone conversation. After a few seconds of wild flapping, I finally understood that he wanted me to look out the window. Much in the same way Timmy would talk to Lassie, "What's that, girl? You want me to look out the window? Timmy's stuck in a well again?"

Lo and behold, there was a young female Cooper's hawk sitting in the puddle on the roof of the apartment building across the way. We had our screens down and I tried to take a few photos through the spotting scope as well as a video. She appeared to be nervous and taking her time with bathing. We slowly lifted the screen to get better photos. The above photo was taken after we lifted the screen, she appears to be aware that we are watching her.

The only birds we could hear out and about were chimney swifts. When they would fly over she would follow them--always an eye on potential food! She was so big and so close, I had trouble fitting her whole body into the frame with my digiscoping equipment--I was backed up against the wall as far as I could go and still could barely fit her whole body into the shot.

It was funny to watch all the squirrels hopping on to the roof to drink from the puddle, realize there was a hawk in front of them and then sprint off back in the direction they came from. Whoopsie! The hawk eventually was completely soaked and she flew off--albeit a bit unsteady into the trees.

We did get some videos of the Cooper's hawk bathing. She was doing this very weird kind of butt slap against the water. I apologize for the may want to just keep your computer on mute while watching the one minute video--I was just kind of excited and caught up in the moment.

There are two other videos you can watch here and here (this was the first video we took with the screen still down). Each are about a minute long.

Ack--Too Distracted

I'm trying to get ready for my shift at The Raptor Center and my neighborhood is covered this morning in robins and cedar wawings. They must have come in last night. This usually happens every year, but I didn't see the waxwings last year.

The apartment building right behind ours has a really bad roof that always has a puddle. It works as a great makeshift bath for this apartment dweller.

I'm trying to digiscope, but the morning light is still to dim and my images are dark. The waxwings and robins should be here all day so hopefully I'll get better shots this afternoon. Even Non Birding Bill looked through the scope to admire the waxwings.

Waxwings look like female cardinals with heavy make up on. Here's an adult and a young of the year.

Isn't this a lovely fall picture? Okay, I really am running super late to TRC. Good thing we don't have programs scheduled this morning. The crew leader will begrudge you being late for a good raptor sighting but not songbirds. Maybe I'll say the Coops came in and that will get me a get out of jail free pass.