05 October 2008

cooper's v pileated, a local drama

it all started just a few minutes ago. a beautiful male pileated landed on the rail below my feeder, and went about his business scarfing grains and nut fragments strewn by less-fastidious eaters earlier in the day.

when chirp, my kitty, noticed him (from inside the house, thank you), and he her, he postured a bit, turned side to side to get a closer look at his admirer, took a few more grains, then flew off towards one of the forest's many deciduous trees. within seconds of his take-off, a mini-dogfight occurred with one of the neighbouring cooper's hawks.

no problem, really. the PIWO found his way to the birch, settling on the trunk for a moment, then deciding a cedar across the way was probably a bit safer.
immediately, the cooper's zeroed in and again gave chase, with the pileated gaining the cedar trunk safely; the cooper's landed quickly on a neighbouring branch.

this has gone on for the last 10 minutes, and i was wondering: do cooper's often hassle (and/or take) full-grown pileateds? i'd suppose they'd have no problems with an unhealthy bird, but the male was magnificent in size and colour, and had no obvious physical maladies. perhaps the COHA was a juvenile and still learning what he could and could not handle?

it's been more than 10 minutes now, and the COHA hasn't given up. if i should see a d
énouement, i will report it... this is so much more entertaining than watching seahawks... :)

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