Posted by: atowhee | January 17, 2020


I have seen three small raptors here in McMinnville in the past 36 hours.  Yesterday morning at Joe Dancer Park we were walking two dogs.  High in a bare cottonwood was a small hawk with its back to us.  I often see the kestrel pair that live in and around that park.  Light was bad, it was rainy, I had no binocs.  My wife and I assumed it was one of the kestrels.  I took a few shots anyway. Here is what I saw and then what was revealed by enlarging the digital image:

Those white patches on the back are indicative of an accipiter with its feathers fluffed up for insulation.  Temp was mid-thirties at the time, 100% humidity.  I think this was a male Cooper’s Hawk.  I can see the dark malar stripe down the face, hint of a flatish head…and it was perched in more exposed position than a typical sharpie would use.  Then mid-day today an adult female Coop zipped into our garden emptying all feeders of diners.  Freaking out the squirrels.  I grab my camera in pursuit.  I walked across a small wooden footbridge we have and from beneath shot a doubly terrified little squirrel…first death from the sky, than a giant crashing along his roof.  Eeek.  The other eight squirrels were up in the trees , complaining loudly.
I found the Coop, across the street in the tallest tree, looking longingly back at our feeder display:coop looksbackThen our re-visit of Joe Dancer today: a kestrel as usual, causing no alarm for the robins, juncos and flicker ground feeding beneath its falcon flight.

Since the first week of November last year we have been owned by a possessive, aggressive Audubon’s Warbler.  He has the self-righteous personality of some people we see too much on TV.  The myrtle has only been around a few days but seems able to come and go with no interference from the established co-gener.  Last year our yellow-rump(s) were seen here until early April.
Some other garden visitors:


  1. Ils sont magnifiques.

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