Last Monday I heard the resident front yard mockingbirds making quite a racket. They make very good guards. A racket generally means something’s up, predator wise.
I recognized this guy immediately. I’ve seen him from a distance and knew he was in the neighborhood.
Usually it’s down in the canyon below the house, sitting on top of a power pole. I’m pretty sure its nest is in the top of a pine tree right next to the pole.
Its call is very distinctive (the first one here), and the Cornell Lap Merlin Bird ID app confirmed the pictures – it’s a Cooper’s Hawk.
The two mockingbirds were on the wire above it, sounding the alarm constantly, and occasionally swooping down to take a pass at the hawk, trying to frighten it off. I was amazed that it stuck around for over five minutes, giving me a chance to walk around and take some pictures.
When it finally did take off, the second it was in the air there was a flood of mockingbirds that scrambled out of nowhere to mob it. While there were two on the wire, when the hawk got in the air there were suddenly 20+, dive bombing it, taking shots at hitting it in the air. With very little effect that I could see.
What a beautiful bird! I hope I see it back up here at the top of the hill again soon, whether the mockingbirds like it or not!