Monday, June 1, 2015

This is One Mad Hawk

This time of year I get steady inquiries as to why some birds are pecking on windows, seemingly trying to get inside. The answer is that it is a territorial behavior from the real bird that is seeing its reflection in the glass, and trying to fight off the "intruder". This aggressive behavior even extends to vehicle windows and mirrors.
Species most commonly mentioned to me are Northern cardinals, Northern mockingbirds, Eastern bluebirds, Eastern towhees, and tufted titmice; so I was totally surprised to receive the photos below:

Cooper's Hawk by Chris LaPine
  This is an adult Cooper's Hawk, likely an male. I received a report of a large bird of prey "begging" at a window near the Charlotte Country Club. I suspected it would be a juvenile bird that just chose the ledge as a perch to beg from. Wrong!

Cooper's Hawk by Chris LaPine
Clearly this bird is agitated by the reflection in the window. This is no little songbird pecking on glass. This bird persisted for days in sitting on this ledge and screaming at itself. If the owners have a pet bird it is likely freaking out by now!