During a rescue in Kentucky at a supermarket our staff encountered a Cooper’s hawk.
Cooper’s hawks are predatory birds who like to prey on medium sized birds. The Cooper’s hawk is very aggressive – and successful – with their antics. This is why our latest Cooper’s hawk rescue was crowned the Alice Cooper’s Hawk.
The Cooper’s Hawk
Declining in the mid-twentieth century, the number of the Cooper’s hawks have since stabilized. The Cooper’s hawk is a medium-sized hawk native to the North American continent and found in Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. They are among the world’s most skilled fliers. The hawk was named after the naturalist, William Cooper, one of the founders of the New York Academy of Science.
The male Cooper’s hawk feeds the female hawk for at least a month until she begins laying eggs. The tree nest site is 25-50 feet off the ground. Both sexes or the male alone builds the nest. The male hawk brings food to the perch of the nest and the mother feeds her young for 4-5 weeks until they are able to fly. While Cooper’s hawks are monogamous most do not mate for life. Also, males are usually submissive to the female hawks because females are larger and are expert hunters of medium sized birds. Cooper’s hawks can also be found near bird feeders always looking for easy prey.
The oldest recorded Cooper’s hawk was 20 years and 4 months old. The male was branded in 1986 and found again in 2006.
Males are about 15 inches long with a wingspan of 2-3 feet and a weight of 8-14 ounces.
Females are larger, usually about 18 inches long, with a wingspan of 2.5-3 feet and a weight of 12-24 ounces.
Other names for the Cooper’s Hawk are Chicken Hawk, E’smerejon de Cooper, Eprerierie de Cooper, Mexican Hawk and Swift Hawk.