Cooper’s Diet and Hollywood Finches: November 1, 2021

The first thing that we read about Cooper’s Hawks is that they are bird eaters. This is why every birdfeeder owner is wary of them. If a Cooper’s arrives, all of the small birds scurry for cover.

With this in mind, it was odd to find a juvenile Cooper’s actively pursuing squirrels this morning at Col. Sam Smith Park.

Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile)

A little research tells me that, in addition to songbirds, Cooper’s Hawk diet includes mice, chipmunks, squirrels, frogs, snakes and insects.

Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile)
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile)
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile)
Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile)

For many years, eastern United States’ pet shops sold a pinkish finch which was nicknamed the “Hollywood” finch. At some point it was discovered that this is a native bird from the southwestern states and Mexico called a House Finch. Native birds cannot be sold as pets. Over time, many of these colourful birds were released and started to spread. I saw my first in Toronto in the 1980’s.

There were several at Col. Sam today:

House Finch (male)
House Finch (female)
House Finches
House Finches
House Finch (female)
House Finches
House Finch (male)
House Finch (female)
House Finches

Other birds:

Northern Cardinals
European Starlings
Northern Cardinals
European Starlings
Northern Cardinal (female)
American Tree Sparrow
Red-necked Grebe
American Tree Sparrow
Cormorant with fish
American Tree Sparrow
American Black Ducks and Mallards
Hooded Merganser (female)
American Black Ducks and Mallards
Hooded Merganser (female)
Northern Cardinal (male)
Hooded Merganser (female)
European Starlings
American Goldfinch
European Starlings
Rock Pigeon
European Starling
Gadwall (female)
Hairy Woodpecker (female)
American Goldfinch
Mute Swans
American Goldfinch
Ring-billed Gull
Gadwall (male)
Gadwall (female)
Gadwall (male)

Today’s group:

NATURE VERSE

And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
I would not change it. – Shakespeare

Miles Hearn

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