Not a Worm

You know what they say: The early bird gets the worm.

In this case, the early bird wasn’t the least bit interested in a worm, but instead chose dove or mockingbird as its breakfast of choice.

Just as it was light this morning, I spotted this juvenile male Cooper’s Hawk, Accipiter cooperii, enjoying a meal atop the remains of my neighbor’s Arizona Ash tree. The tree was damaged during the February 2021 freeze, but retained some of its lower branches. The upper branches all died and were removed last summer. What remains are some well-utilized perches for a variety of birds, including this beauty.

It’s possible that the hawk caught its prey yesterday evening, ate some of it, and saved the rest to finish for breakfast. I know I like left over pizza for breakfast, though I’d probably pass on dove. To each their own.

As I watched the hawk, it fluttered from the highest perch, to the one just below. I’m not certain what the advantage of the lower perch presented, but the hawk stayed for a bit, flying off later to spend the day hunting.

Observe that the outer bark of the tree is pulling away from the main wood. All of the trees damaged in that devastating freeze have similar shedding of of bark, some are larger pieces like this, some smaller. The birds don’t mind, though; it’s been fun to see the variety of birds making use of these large limbs. Everything from this big hawk to tiny hummingbirds perch on various parts of these limbs. I just have to remember to notice.