TVCS birders have seen a small hawk perching and cruising around our feeders for some time. Is it a Coopers Hawk or a Sharpshinned Hawk? Light-colored breast with distinctive orange stripes; dark back although maybe not as solid gray as a mature male and distinctively barred tail that we think spreads out in flight. We are calling our hawk a Coopers Hawk until someone corrects us. Last Monday morning was a thrill for the whole 7th grade class. The hawk and our murder of crows were in battle over the playground territory. One hawk against one crow, lead to some aerial acrobatics from the pair, but when the crows joined forces, the hawk took off to far tall cottonwoods by the irrigation canal.
But the morning drama was not over! Coming out to monitor our feeders, there was the Coopers Hawk again, but this time on some wooden pallets by the feeder, and no small bird sounds or sights. The whole class came out to watch and the hawk was not bothered. Fifteen feet away from our not-as-quiet- as-we-might- have-been class of 25, the hawk hopped up to the bird bath, intent on something other than us. It moved from there to a stack of chairs, then to the nearby portable roof. We watched the hawk, the hawk watched for some movement near the feeders. Minutes later, the hawk moved away to hunt elsewhere, but no sooner than it flew away, a chickadee darted out from under the pallets where we first saw the hawk and into the safe shrubbery! We had witnessed a failed hunt and a chickadee that survived another day.