Wednesday, December 08, 2010

John Blakeman on the Boston Train Station Hawk With A Good Capture Method, Plus Video-The Hawk Gets Knocked Out

Photo by Donna Browne Juvenile Cooper's Hawk

The second post of yesterday involved a supposed Red-tailed Hawk who'd flown into a Boston Train Station and was perched up top in the rafters considering the situation. Scroll down if you've not read it and seen the video. Sally of Kentucky, caught it first.... Oops that's no Red-tail that's a Cooper's Hawk!

I also found this news story, seems that the Coop had been up there for a week already by December 5th.

Here is what Ohio Red-tail expert John Blakeman had to say about the matter--


The Boston hawk is a Cooper’s Hawk, not a red-tail. The plumage is all wrong for a red-tail, and a red-tail would never get itself perched way up on the interior beam this bird was photographed on.

Cooper’s Hawks are famous for getting inside buildings like the one shown. I’ve dealt with a number like this. They shoot easily and naturally under and through open doors, right into the interior relative darkness. This matches exactly what they do when shooting through woodlots, dashing under limbs and downed trees in search of birds. But in a forest, there is always an opening on the other side of the "entrance." Not so in buildings.

And the falconer shown briefly with a mouse-baited "bal-chatri" trap (pronounced "ball-shot-ree") is unlikely to capture the hawk. Cooper’s Hawks seldom drop down to the ground in pursuit of mice. They are primarily a bird hawk. The trap should have been baited with freshly-caught house sparrows, which when properly handled will dash back and forth inside the cage, luring the hawk down to the apparently injured sparrows inside.

The trap is covered with small nylon snares that enclose around the hawk’s legs and toes when the hawk attacks the lure animals inside. The hawk is uninjured in any way.

But the Cooper’s Hawk won’t come down to a pair of white mice, especially in a busy train station.

–John Blakeman

Thank you John for sharing your experience and knowledge of the species with the rest of us. Here is another link for a piece of video, from WDEF, Boston, as The Animal Rescue League attempts to rescue the Cooper's Hawk in the train station.

On a lighter note, in case there was any doubt about the ancestors of birds being dinosaurs, here is Quicksilver doing an imitation of his many times Great Grandfather.

Donna Browne

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