Cooper’s Hawk With Prey on Don Mills Trail: Late August 2021

It would be nice to think that nature is full of gentle, fluffy creatures who get along in perfect harmony.

Of course, that is not the case and this was brought home to me today as I witnessed a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk (obviously well taught by the parents) devouring a luckless House Sparrow.

Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) with House Sparrow prey

Juveniles have thin dark streaks. Here is an adult.

Cooper’s Hawk

MYSTERY BIRD

I will identify it at the end of the post.

This morning was my first visit to the Don Mills Trail which runs from York Mills to just north of Eglinton a little east of Leslie. The city built the trail on the roadbed of a former railway line, known as the Leaside Spur. It opened in 2016.

I seldom see rats, but here is one that was by a garbage bin. They are remarkably adept at staying out of sight considering that urban areas are said to have one rat for every five people.

Norway Rat
Norway Rat

Some botany:

Autumn-olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium)
Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)
Apple (Malus)
New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
Crab Apple (Malus)
Crown Vetch (Securigera varia)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolia)
Horseweed (Conyza canadensis)
Hawthorn (Crataegus)
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) with bee
Stickseed (Hackelia deflexa)
Queen Anne’s-lace (Daucus carota)
Queen Anne’s-lace (Daucus carota)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Elecampane (Inula helenium)
Ninebark ((Physocarpus opulifolius)
Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Coreopsis (Coreopsis grandiflora)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Tansy (Tanecetum vulgare)
Evening Primrose (Oenothera)
Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Field Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis)

MYSTERY BIRD

If you have a feeder, you may be graced with the presence of one of these little beauties: a Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

NATURE POETRY

In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide world a spot
The which I could not love the less-
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that towered around. – Edgar Allan Poe

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Cooper’s Hawk With Prey on Don Mills Trail: Late August 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    I got the Nuthatch part of it!
    Yes, how right you are. As romantic as I am in my love of nature’s beauty, I have to remind myself, often, that Nature is indeed “red in tooth and claw”, and that this magnificent juvenile Cooper’s Hawk has to eat, and it isn’t a vegetarian! All the same, I am glad the poor House Sparrow seems to be “safely dead” in these great pictures. Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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