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Cooper's hawk        Images © Mark A. Chappell

The Cooper's hawk is a medium-sized, slender, fast ambush hunter of birds and small mammals.   Adults (like these ) are slate-blue above with a dark cap, yellow-orange (females) or red (males) eyes, and rusty barring below, and often have fluffy white undertail coverts setting off the long banded tail.   I know this pair quite well; they live in a small canyon with some old sycamores near Riverside, California; most of these photos were made near the birds' favorite morning perch: a small power pole at the mouth of the canyon; others were made at Big Morongo Reserve in the California desert.   More pictures of these fast, stealthy, powerful hawks are here and here.

  • Canon 10D,1D Mk. II, 1D3, 7D, or 1D4; 500 mm f4 IS lens plus 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens, fill-in flash for some perched images; 1.4X converter for some flight shots (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2020)