I spent the morning in Box Elder County in northern Utah looking for birds to photograph, I was hoping to find a first of the year Swanson’s Hawk or Turkey Vulture or perhaps even find the Golden Eagle pair I found earlier this month. I didn’t see them but I did see Red-tailed Hawks, a few Rough-legged Hawks, one juvenile Bald Eagle, Prairie Falcons, American Kestrels and one Cooper’s Hawk.
Cooper’s Hawks are forest and woodland birds that have adapted well to urban and suburban areas and they are also found in desert areas of the southwest. The road I was on has smatterings of small trees next to it that attract smaller songbirds and the Cooper’s Hawk diet consists of those small birds.
When I first saw this Cooper’s Hawk it had taken flight from the east side of the road and landed in a tree that was snugged up close to a cliff face but was hidden from view, when the hawk took off from the tree it landed on a lichen covered boulder that was on a rocky outcrop on the west side of the road in beautiful light. I was able to take several images of the Cooper’s as it perched and stretched on the boulder.
The Cooper’s Hawk took flight without much warning at all and for a second I lost it while tracking the hawk but regained focus as it flew south past me. The background in this frame shows lichen covered rocks and some sagebrush.
The hawk continued flying south after the image above was taken and although I couldn’t relocate it I was happy to have been able to get these images of it in flight. It was a beautiful morning.
Life is good.