Our Family of Cooper’s Hawks: My complete obsession

Cooper's hawk sitting on the back of a green park bench, looking out over a paved driveway. The bench is next to a palm tree and has a bush behind it.

For the past five or so years, we’ve had sporadic sightings of a lone Cooper’s hawk in our yard, which I loved. He even brought his kills to my front window, enjoying them as I gawked at him from my desk.

The view from my desk is really spectacular. If you were to look out my window, you might say, “Ah, that’s nice.” However, the real treat is watching the spectacle of nature do her thing outside my window.

I have bird feeders that I can see if I shift in my seat and turn my head. The hummingbirds find me just as interesting as I find them. They’ve flown right to the window, hovering there. Watching. (I have to figure out how to put video here) I had forgot to refresh their feeder the other day, and one bird flew to the window and tapped on it! That’s not the first time they’ve done that, either.

Generally, I don’t like being bossed, but when the hummingbirds do it, I don’t mind.

close up of a hummingbird on a wisteria branch, a pine tree trunk is in the background.

This is right outside my window as I’m typing this. I had to zoom in so you could tell what it was. He rests for a bit, then hits the feeder, returning to his wisteria branch.

(Side note: If anyone has any wisteria care tips, please send them my way!)

There are several hummingbirds who sit on the wisteria and then fly over to the feeder and back. They dance around the front porch and all over the yard. I stare at them for hours (divided up, of course). However, this summer, the main attraction is the Cooper’s hawk family. I’ve spotted four together at one time, and I was able to capture three of them in the same pine.

Cooper's hawk sitting on a pine tree branch.
Cooper's hawk sitting on a pine tree branch.

Here is the previous two shown together. I couldn’t get the phone to go wide enough to include the third bird. I have video that I’ve posted on Instagram.

A pair of Cooper's hawks in a pine tree. They are sitting on branches on the opposite sides of the tree.

This final one is blurry. The camera kept focusing on the tree and not the bird–sign about a focus and clarity…

Blue sky background with the camera focused on a pine tree branch, a somewhat unfocused Cooper's hawk sitting on a branch.

I enjoy watching and listening to the family call out to each other. The dogs are a little less enthused about the extra bird noise when they are in the house (they bark) and the hawks don’t seem to be a fan of our geriatric dog, Flanders, when he’s outside (he chases after them, occasionally and hopelessly). They don’t bother the rest of us and frequently watch us go about our business.

This one is right next to our carport. He watched me get in the car, take a pic, and drive off.

It’s been fun watching them learn and grow, seeing the adults teach the juveniles. I don’t know where the nest is, but they’ve been in our yard every day for at least the past month. Maybe even more because they blend in so well with the trees. While I haven’t found a nest, the trees are really tall, we did find a dead juvenile at the bottom of the pines looking like other birds that had fallen out of their nests. However, I have no idea.

It seriously worried me. One minute it wasn’t there and the next, Chief comes to my desk asking what was on the ground…

We’re all familiar the circle of life and yet, it’s still upsetting. I also wondered what kind of spiritual or otherworldly message was being sent–by it all. The family being here, the death, the type of bird. The death felt like a bad omen and I also wondered if the hawks would “move away” because of it (if their nest was somewhere else).

I looked at quite a few sites (I tagged one) to see what others had to say. I have yet to come across the meaning of finding a dead baby/juvenile hawk, but what some of the various sites mentioned in common about hawks was intuition, observation, vision, perspective, and swift, decisive action (which I’m not really known for 😬 much to my family’s dismay). Also, messages from the universe, power, and clarity.

Birds are what connect the skies and the earth, or the spiritual and the human realms, and hawks have the best eyesight. They’re also one of the smartest birds in the world (which include eagles, crows, and ravens). They also have a tight family unit which I’m happily witness to.

I feel somehow protected while the hawks are here and simultaneously thrilled they’ve chosen our yard. Chosen “us.” I know I’m projecting here, but please, allow me this moment. 🤗

Do you have an animal who sends you signs, is a talisman of sorts, or perhaps a familiar? I’m curious–please, let me know!

Give me a shoutout! 🤠

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