|This young Cooper's Hawk is jarringly out of place. Photo by m_barje|
Mom: Did you hear about the Cooper's Hawk that's in the Library of Congress?
Me: Yes, I did. I hope they get it out soon. It can't last long in there.
Mom: Of course you're happy about that--you don't like Cooper's Hawks.
Me: Yes, I do actually.
Mom: They eat little birds don't they?
Me: Well, a hawk's gotta eat something.
Mom: Anne, I'm surprised at you. I thought you liked little birds!
Me: I do.
Mom: Well, can't he learn to eat something else?
Me: I don't think so.
Mom: He learned enough to go to the library.
Me: Yes, he did.
Mom: And he picked a good library.
Me: Yes he did.
Mom: I tell you, there's a children's book in it if he lives.
Me: Hmmm…at least a blog post.
Searching through Flickr, I found the above photo of another juvenile Cooper's that blundered into a building. Fortunately, this one eventually followed the cat out the same door it entered. I noticed that well-known blogger Birdchick left a comment on the Library Congress's first blog post about the hawk. She mentions that when she worked with a raptor center, she once rescued a Cooper's from a batting cage.
I'm not a bird rehabber, but I had a similar experience. I was just out for a walk with my best buddy, Rosie, in the campus of a nearby college. We took the path past the track and ball field, when I saw a Cooper's Hawk frantically trying to get out of the nylon-net batting cage. I hurried home and put Rosie inside, then headed back.
More than once I'd freed Mourning Doves from these batting cages, and I figured I could help the hawk, though his size would make it more of a challenge. I lifted the netting as high as I could, but it was surprisingly heavy and hard to lift over my head for very long. The panicked hawk would come nowhere near the opening with me there. There was a woman running the track at the time, so I trotted over to ask for her help. Two of us could hold up the net from the corners, leaving a wide open space, I explained. She was afraid of birds, she said, and left immediately.
Finally I found two chairs left by baseball fans and used them to prop the net up creating a low but wide opening. The hawk was frantically trying to get out of the top of the net so I withdrew. When I checked an hour later, the hawk was gone.
|Dome of the Main Reading Room of the Library of |
Congress, where the hawk is trapped. Photo by Photo Phiend
As I post this, the Cooper's Hawk has now been in the LOC for almost 7 days, hanging out just below the "Mural of Human Understanding," seen on the left in a photo by Photo Phiend. We bloggers have had some fun with this story, but the bird's situation is serious. She-- they determined that she's a female--managed to steal some food from the trap set by the Virginia Raptor Conservancy team, but didn't spring the mechanism. Check the latest tweets about the LOC's hawk here.