West Seattle wildlife: Hawk sightings – watch for bands!

Two West Seattle Cooper’s Hawk tales: First, Tom Furtwangler shares the top photo of a juvenile hawk spotted outside his Gatewood home – sighted by his wife, who happens to be urban-nature author Lyanda Lynn Haupt. Tom says it was there just a few minutes, and quotes Lyanda as saying, “I think it’s a male because it’s small for a Cooper’s, but that’s just speculation. It’s a hard time of year for newly fledged birds because they are just learning to hunt. I hope he makes it!” This provides the perfect lead-in to two other Cooper’s Hawk photos shared this week by nature photographer/writer Trileigh Tucker:

Trileigh explains:

The first photo shows a young Cooper’s Hawk practicing her landing skills on a snag in Lincoln Park, and although the second photo (a different young female) looks like she’s showing off her new jewelry, she’s actually just getting ready to scratch her nose.

She continues:

The bands they’re wearing were put on as part of an eight-year study being conducted to learn about Cooper’s Hawks’ nesting ecology and winter site fidelity. So readers should look carefully and see if they can find banded hawks in West Seattle! Sightings can be reported to the Washington Ornithological Society’s research page at wos.org/research — look for the instructions for “Accipiters and Merlins” at the top of the page.

Trileigh is now writing about her sightings, and celebrating “the beauty and power of next-door nature,” online here. She says her site “focuses on local natural history (especially Lincoln Park, of course!), and what we can learn both about nature and about ourselves from being attentive to the natural world in our backyards and beyond. Come take a look!”

10 Replies to "West Seattle wildlife: Hawk sightings - watch for bands!"

  • Jiggers August 14, 2011 (7:54 pm)

    If there was a bird that I could come back as, that would be one of them, the other is a vulture.

  • Elikapeka August 14, 2011 (10:23 pm)

    Trileigh, I just love your photos. You have a real talent for nature photography.

  • Raindogphoto August 14, 2011 (10:31 pm)

    Beautiful photography! I believe I saw one of these guys at Lincoln Park this morning. Strangely enough, I only noticed it because I started reading Lyanda’s book Crow Planet today and was inspired to pay attention to our wild neighbors a little more closely. :)

  • lucky chick August 15, 2011 (7:13 am)

    At least the banded birds don’t require an extended discussion about whether it’s a Cooper’s or sharpie!

  • Scot August 15, 2011 (9:06 am)

    Oh! I saw this bird (or one very, very much like it) last week here in our back yard in Top Hat.

  • J August 15, 2011 (9:22 am)

    We had a Hawk land in are yard last week. Amazing how large they are.

  • Patrick Laughlin August 15, 2011 (10:52 am)

    Interesting I thought I saw an eagle (which I see often) and after a 2nd longer look saw it was a hawk circling over the 5200 block of 21st Ave SW this morning at 8:30am.

  • Longfellow Creek Hawk Sighting August 15, 2011 (11:03 am)

    We saw a Cooper’s hawk flying out of our chicken coop, our hens all ran for cover. Couldn’t believe the hawk was actually in the coop! Location of sighting – 24th ave SW, along Longfellow Creek.

  • Westsideresident August 15, 2011 (1:30 pm)

    That’s awesome! My mom lives near Lincoln Park and frequently has Hawks sitting on her back fence-they look like statues sometimes!

  • Tom L. August 16, 2011 (9:43 am)

    Live across from Fauntleroy ferry dock on Director. Had a big, beautiful Cooper’s sunning at the top of the alder tree for a while this morning. Pictures weren’t clear enough to post. Impressive site! Couldn’t tell if banded when let out a shriek and flew over the house on the way toward Lincoln Park.

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