After giving Harvey a bath this afternoon I was out on our front sidewalk trying to coax a very uncooperative velvet ant into a good pose for a picture (those little buggers never sit still!). While I was crouched in the dead grass fighting with the macro feature on our camera I heard a sound like a model rocket wooshing over my head. I looked up in time to see a grey blur zooming toward our bird feeders. In a flurry of tiny feathers, the thirty juncos that had been gorging themselves on sunflower seeds vanished. On a stump in the midst of the abandoned feast sat a very disappointed Cooper's Hawk.
She gazed around the now empty yard checking for stragglers and found none. And with a shrug (I swear I heard a sigh), she leapt into the air to perch on a large cottonwood behind our house and compose herself. I had forgotten there was a camera in my hand.
After several frantic seconds trying to switch it off of the macro setting, I brought the camera to my eye and started shooting. I was just in time to see her take off and begin an elegant soaring flight directly overhead.
As I was taking these pictures I noticed she wasn't alone. Suddenly there were a pair of Cooper's Hawks soaring overhead. At that precise moment I somehow I managed to switch the camera back into macro mode, where it promptly got stuck. Another thirty seconds spent fighting with the lens meant that when I finally did get it focused on the sky again, the second hawk was gone. I had completely missed an opportunity to capture two soaring Cooper's Hawks together. Or so I thought, until I downloaded the pictures a few minutes later.
Just looking at these birds I wouldn't think the juncos stand a chance.