Author Topic: Outdoor critter: Cooper's hawk diet consists mostly of birds  (Read 1789 times)

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Offline BottleFed

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Outdoor critter: Cooper's hawk diet consists mostly of birds
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2011, 03:16:43 AM »

Nicknames: Chicken hawk, blue darter

Claim to fame: Much of the enmity between poultry farmers and hawks can be traced to the feeding habits of the Cooper's hawk. All types of hawks are opportunistic predators that will take what's available, but birds make up 70 percent to 85 percent of a Cooper's hawk's diet. In pioneer days, young chickens were sometimes nabbed by these effective hunters.

Species status: Although Cooper's hawks have habitat preferences, they can be seen across much of the state.

Length: 14 to 20 inches long

Diet: Medium-sized birds are common food items. Squirrels and chipmunks are also nabbed on occasion. They have been known to hunt rodents in open fields as well.

Distinguishing characteristics: Like most raptors, a Cooper's hawk's eyes are set forward, giving it good depth perception for hunting and catching prey. Its hooked bill is well adapted to tearing flesh. Its voice is a loud "cack-cack-cack."

Life span: One study showed they could live up to seven years.