Discover more from The Desert Trumpet
Wildlife Wednesday: Happy Hawk in the Rain
A young Cooper's hawk takes a shower
On this Wildlife Wednesday we are sharing the pure joy of a Cooper’s hawk taking a shower in the rain. Heidi Heard captured this video in her neighborhood during a monsoon in August, just a few days before hurricane Hilary swept through.
In this video you can see the hawk’s very dapper banded tail; the streaked breast shows it likely is a young hawk.
You can also see how small the hawk’s bill is and its wicked curve. If you are feeding birds, you also feed their predators—which include the Cooper’s hawk. I’m ok with this, even with a tender heart for quail chicks, whose coveys go from 15 to 12 to five or six in a few weeks. A hawk’s gotta eat.
Cooper’s hawks prefer medium-size birds like mourning doves and adult quail and eat antelope ground squirrels, mice, rats, and even bats! They hunt with a flap-flap-gliiiiiiide and can fly just above the ground and over a creosote or cheesebush to grab prey on the other side. No wonder all the little birds are skittish.
Even though we see them pretty often, Cooper’s hawks1 are also fairly secretive—have you seen any nesting? I’d love to know.
I found myself wondering who Cooper was. William Cooper (1798-1864) was an American naturalist who lived in New York. He published a scientific note about the bird, and it was named by Prince Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a nephew of THAT Bonaparte. More on the people behind birds’ names here.
Please share your Twentynine Palms wildlife photos and videos, and we’ll include them in an upcoming feature. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Desert Trumpet writer Kat Talley-Jones is a member of the Public Arts Advisory Committee, which is a part of the City of Twentynine Palms.
Share your thoughts in the comments below or in our live chat in the Substack app. Please note that we do not allow anonymous comments. Please be sure to include your first and last name in your profile before commenting. Anonymous comments will be deleted.