Sunday, April 06, 2008

Name This Bird (Please?)

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at
(Cross-posted at Musings & Mutterings and the House of 42 Doors)

**Edited at the bottom with our best guess.

Loved the weekend we just had. Well, other than the cold I'm developing that looks fair to knock me on my tuchus. Had a college friend contact us Thursday to say he'd be in the area on Friday and could he stop by. So we very much enjoyed visiting with him, and since he didn't have pressing plans the next day, he stayed over and went to the wonderful book sale with me on Saturday. I must confess *cough* that I got even more books than Mr. Kluges. In my defense, I went to both the sale he went to PLUS the kid books one. Even so... now we've got to find a lot more bookshelf space....

But to get back to the title of this post, we've noticed a fair amount of birds of prey in the area, and recently have seen them around by our house and neighborhood A LOT. Like, all the time. And now it appears that we've got a pair of ... hawks? falcons?... building a nest in a tall conifer right across the street from our House of 42 Doors. And there's one tree at the front of our driveway (right in front of our sign) that is apparently a favorite perch of theirs. Which is cool because we were able to get THIS CLOSE today....

(Click on the picture to see it bigger.)

...but on the side of the cons, we've (and by "we" I mean Mr. Kluges) already had to clean up what was left of either a squirrel or a chipmunk from underneath on the driveway. Yuck.

We're not exactly sure what they are, so we were hoping somebody out there would have an idea. Here's what they look like.

They make a very loud "kek kek kek kek kek kek kek kek kek" (or "kak kak kak" or "kuk kuk kuk" or some sort of hard to spell vowel sound combination thereof). Like I said before, they appear to be making a nest in the tall conifer across the way and eat small mammals. We've seen them fly and do sort of a mini-swoop in mid-air that was cool to watch.

Trying to find out on-line, they sort of resemble Peregrin Falcons (but the nesting habits don't seem to match up) or Cooper's Hawks or Northern Goshawk or ???

So, can you help? Any ideas?

(On a side note, this counts as about as cool as those deer!)

**Edited Monday afternoon:
Ok, after doing more research, and with Mr. Kluges finding the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on-line, (I love teh internets!), we're pretty confident that they're Cooper's Hawks. They look about right, and the area is about right and the sound of the call is dead-on with what we've been hearing all the time. Dissenting opinions or further discussion still welcomed in the comments though!


Happy Veggie said...

The first one is definitely a hawk of some variety. The second one looks like a pigeon... If you don't have any takers by the time my mom visits, I'll have her take a look. She's great at identifying birds.

Ms. Huis Herself said...

Um, based on our observations, they're obviously a mated pair of birds of prey of some kind, so the different looks must be male/female variation between the two. They're roughly the same size, not that you can get much scale in these picture. They're slightly bigger than crows, I guess.

(So, yeah, not a pigeon. *grin*)

Hope the additional information may be helpful!

Pusher said...

With the reddish belly and more gray body on the male, I vote Cooper's hawk, but I don't really know.

Hey Teach! said...

I'm pretty sure they are Cooper's Hawks. We see them in the trees on the side of our major highways all the time. I guess they are just waiting for road kill. Except for the mess, they are beautiful creatures.

kittenpie said...

Wow. That is really cool. There are falcons living among the buildings right downtown here, but not on our 'hood. We did have Cedar waxwings pointed out to us by a neighbour this weekend, though. Not that I'm much of a bird-watcher, but still - cool.

Mary Beth said...

You got some great pictures. Luckily we don't have birds of prey too close to our house because of all the little birds we have coming and going.