BIRD WATCHER’S DIGEST • JULY/AUGUST ’ 17 • birdwatchersdigest.com 109
kept on stuffing its face and
even gave a big yawn. How do
you explain this behavior? Also,
will the Cooper’s hawks use the
same nest next year?
A: I am really glad to hear that you are enjoying the
Cooper’s hawks on your property. I studied birds of prey for
over 40 years, and it always
saddens me to receive email
from those who want to get rid
of them—for whatever reason.
Youngsters fledging from a nest
can be fed by their parents for
a period of up to seven weeks,
but during that time, they do
practice catching anything from
large insects to rabbits, squir-
rels, and birds up to dove and
pigeon sizes. They are not too
successful initially, which might
explain why that squirrel just
yawned and kept on feeding,
despite the nearby hawk.
A given pair of Cooper’s
hawks will occasionally use the
same nest but more often will
build a new one in the same territory. As long as there is ample
food and decent nest-building
locations, you should be enjoying these birds in your yard for
years to come.
Q: I feed the birds in my backyard, and recently I