Cooper’s Hawk dining in Portola Valley

Biking up Old La Honda the other day, I stumbled upon what I believe to be a Cooper’s hawk, who had just caught the young of a Jay. The video was shot on an iPhone, so not much detail, but its interesting to see the Jay’s so angry and making cacophony, and intermittently swooping past the hawk, while the hawk complacently de-feathers his meal. It got me thinking about the loneliness of being a predator, at least a lone predator like most birds of prey. Wherever that Cooper’s hawk goes, smaller birds will yell at his presence, notify the world that something to be feared is near. I wonder if he notices..

I also thought it interesting that at second 24, all the Jays stop yelling at once, for a second, as if they heard something I didn’t. The synchronousness of their abrupt silence, and re-commencement is astounding.. further evidence of the communal way of life they have in contrast to the hawk.

DiningBird.mp4 from lewis guignard on Vimeo.