Here comes the hawk

Hawk visitor 1

A hawk decided to visit our pond today – I wasn’t home, but a neighbor alerted The Spouse, who took some pictures.

Hawk prepares for a bath

Apparently, it wasn’t hunting, but rather looking for a bath in the pond.

Bathing hawk

Any birdwatchers out there able to ID this from these photos?

8 responses to this post.

  1. Very exciting. I’m not real good at hawks but maybe red-shouldered hawk.

    they posted seeing a red -tailed hawk on the I-290 median.

    We saw a sharp-shined hawk on our fence. I’m going to post a picture tommorrow. Someone on wildlife gardeners said Chicago only has rats and cats for wildlife… LOL.
    You should come over and help me refute said ex-chicagoan.



    • Posted by lakechicagoshores on January 26, 2010 at 3:40 pm

      Rats and cats? What about the raccoon party in my pond last summer? And the multiple ‘possums seen skulking around? Of course, perhaps none of these critters walk 2 blocks east into Chicago proper….


  2. It looks like it might be a Cooper’s Hawk. It’s a little hard to tell from a distance, and a little hard to gauge its size, but that’s my guess. Cooper’s Hawks stay in this area year-round. We see them in our yard sporadically throughout the year. They have a favorite branch on one of our silver maples where they go with their prey. It’s hard to watch feathers and little chunks of fur floating down from the branch. That’s what usually catches my attention, then I look up and sure enough, there’s the hawk picking apart its prey.


    • Posted by lakechicagoshores on January 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      Cooper’s was our neighbor’s ID from her bird book, and I’m inclined to agree given the hawk’s dark head. It’s definitely not the pale-bellied hawk seen in south Oak Park, although I’ll definitely have to keep an eye out for that one too. It hasn’t been back, at least when I’ve been watching.


  3. Hi, Thanks for posting your comment on our Neighborhood nature blog. I also vote for Cooper’s Hawk for your visitor — an adult, based on the reddish chest. A Sharp-shinned Hawk would have different body proportions (like a smaller head relative the the body.
    We have at least 3 Cooper’s Hawks in south Oak Park right now. I’ve seen two adults together, plus there’s a juvenile that visits our yard every couple of weeks, trying to catch our feeder birds. I also saw one Sharp-shinned Hawk this winter, near Maze Library.
    By the way, I think I get the Lake Chicago reference — do you live near the old beach that cuts through Taylor Park? And are you a geologist or geographer, or a fan of those disciplines? (Otherwise, how would you know the story?)
    Eric, writing from what used to be the bottom of the Lake


    • Posted by lakechicagoshores on January 27, 2010 at 8:19 am

      Yes, I’m a couple of blocks east of Taylor Park, so perhaps “In the shallows” might be a better description than “On the shores”. I’m a big fan of the natural sciences (and used to be employed in them), and so read as much as I could about the natural history of the area when we moved here. Being close to a (historic) Continental Divide just tickles me!


  4. I love hawks… it’s so great when they visit you in the garden. My little dog doesn’t seem super happy to see them since they usually swoop down at her – but hey – you can’t please them all! 🙂


  5. I had a hawk in my yard last year – March ’09.

    It’s so cool to see them and that they “chose” your little yard for some R&R.


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