Jean and I first became aware of a nesting pair of Cooper's Hawks on May 19. We were walking on the Merritt Trail in St. Catharines when a male Cooper's landed on the top of a utility pole to feed on its prey. The larger female soon arrived, landing on a neighbouring pole. She quickly announced her demands but the male did not want to share his rather small meal. The pair of accipiters soon took off as we slowly walked towards the trio of utility poles. We continued our walk to the pond, tallying a total of 26 species during the hike. While walking back to our starting point we were following the male Cooper's back to the area where we first observed him. We lost him momentarily but he soon reappeared flying above us with a twig in his beak. The pair must be building a nest!
We returned to the trail on June 3 and found the female sitting on the nest.
In late July, Jean and I discovered that all the time and effort the pair contributed to become parents was a success.
A brief glimpse of the chick's wing.
Unfortunately, we have not walked the trail since then. Jean's dad walks the trail regularly and he informed us that the young Cooper's Hawk recently left the nest. The smaller birds (mostly House Sparrows) can now breathe a sigh of relief. Until next year, the pair will be taking prey less often.