WINTER HUNTERS

Towheeblog

I have seen three small raptors here in McMinnville in the past 36 hours.  Yesterday morning at Joe Dancer Park we were walking two dogs.  High in a bare cottonwood was a small hawk with its back to us.  I often see the kestrel pair that live in and around that park.  Light was bad, it was rainy, I had no binocs.  My wife and I assumed it was one of the kestrels.  I took a few shots anyway. Here is what I saw and then what was revealed by enlarging the digital image:

Those white patches on the back are indicative of an accipiter with its feathers fluffed up for insulation.  Temp was mid-thirties at the time, 100% humidity.  I think this was a male Cooper’s Hawk.  I can see the dark malar stripe down the face, hint of a flatish head…and it was perched in more exposed position…

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