Cooper’s Hawk Nest and Mystery Flowering Shrub: April 2021

I was out at Lambton Woods by the Humber River early this morning hoping to see an oriole. They should be back any day now.

Red Squirrel

In fact, there were no new migrants. Here are the birds that I was able to photograph:

Mallard (female)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Mallard (male)
Canada Goose
Blue Jay
Downy Woodpecker (female)
European Starling
House Sparrow (male)
Mourning Dove
Song Sparrow
Downy Woodpecker (female)
Blue Jay

MYSTERY BIRD

At the conclusion of the post, I will identify it.

In the middle of the forest here, high in a Hemlock, I was able to spot a Cooper’s Hawk busily making a nest.

Cooper’s Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk

I have been coming to Lambton Woods many times each spring for the last 15 years. During these walks I have often noticed a pretty white-flowered shrub but have never taken the time to properly identify it.

Flowering Almond

It is not in my Newcomb’s wildflower guide.

Flowering Almond

I can tell that it is in the Prunus family by its roundish five petals. In Serviceberry, which also is in flower in some places, the petals are longer than wide so this is something else.

Prunus includes plums and cherries. Several are cultivated as ornamental trees and shrubs for their attractive flowers. This includes the cherries found in High Park.

The shrub at Lambton is Flowering Almond (Prunus triloba) which has spread from nearby gardens.

Flowering Almond
Flowering Almond
Flowering Almond

Other botany:

White Spruce male pollen cones
Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)

MYSTERY BIRD

The American Black Duck resembles a female Mallard but is darker in colour. Black Ducks are sooty brown with a paler head. The yellow bill indicates that it is a male.

American Black Duck (male)

MAILBOX

This is fascinating! 😊

Some Male Birds Fly Under False Colors to Attract Mates, Study Suggests – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

NATURE POETRY

The whole wild wood is one vast instrument
Of thousand, thousand keys; and all its notes
Come in sweet harmony, while Nature plays
To celebrate the presence of her God!              – Hannah Flagg Gould (1789-1865)

Miles Hearn

4 thoughts on “Cooper’s Hawk Nest and Mystery Flowering Shrub: April 2021

  1. Patricia Lund

    We are also awaiting the Baltimore Orioles and I put up my special orange feeder this morning. Hopefully they will remember our feeder from last year which was our first experience with their exciting visits to feed on the Grape Jam. They do need protein as well but when they arrive tired and hungry they gobble down the sugary treat which provides them with calories until their more natural foods are available. My neighbor heard a Baltimore Oriole in High Park five days ago so some of them have already arrived.
    Thanks Miles for interesting nature lore early every morning before my daily newspaper arrives.

    Reply
  2. Gloria James

    Thanks for the beautiful photos of the Cooper’s Hawk. I didn’t realize that the female has distinctive black stripes on her tail.

    Reply
  3. Lisa Volkov

    Bird colours: Maybe birds just have an eye for a good-looking male! Regardless, that was a very interesting item.
    A Cooper’s Hawk nest! So it IS that time of year! (I won’t ask what that is in the Cooper’s Hawk’s beak. I’m sure it’s tasty and nourishing.) Another place that I love, with lots of wonderful birds, Red Squirrels and terrific botany, as shown here. That Flowering Almond blossom is gorgeous. Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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