Merlin and Cooper's Hawk @ Bishop City Park

Observers: Chris and Rosie Howard
Remote Name:
Date: 12/25/2004
Time: 10:17 PM -0500


What would a Merlin eat for Christmas dinner? Duck, turkey, or Cooper's Hawk? While birding at the park today we saw a female-type columbarius Merlin sitting on the very top of an 80 ft. cottonwood at the back of the park. Ten minutes later we watched a spectacular aerial ballet. Flying like an F-15 the Merlin repeatedly dive bombed a 3 ft. high clump of grass behind the park. During its third stoop a Cooper's Hawk flew up out of the tall grass trying to escape. The Merlin promptly beaned it on the head grounding the Cooper's Hawk. The Merlin flew off. While walking over to survey the damage, we spotted the Cooper's sitting dazed in the grass. It flew up and sat kind of lopsided on a branch. Merry Christmas, Coop. You live!