raptor photos … young Cooper’s Hawks on Martha’s Vineyard

by Lanny McDowell on July 2, 2009


It has been a bonanza year for raptor nests on the Vineyard. I have been keeping an eye on a Cooper’s Hawk nest not too far from the Lagoon in Vineyard Haven and also one up in Chilmark.  There are three chicks in each of these,  growing up fast.  There are four active Cooper’s Hawk nests that I am aware of this year on Martha’s Vineyard.   Some young have already fledged and some are still mostly fuzzy white.

There may be, and probably are,  more breeding Cooper’s Hawks.  Maybe some of the Vineyard’s Breeding Bird Atlasers will get back to me on this.  One friend of mine insists there is a Sharp-shinned nest on his property, but we differ as to the raptor ID.  It almost goes without saying that Ospreys and Red-taileds abound.  Harriers are another matter.  They are here, for sure, and nesting, but it can be hard to pin down just how many nests there are.  This year at least, there is a dedicated and persistent  group of observers doing just that at locations along the South Shore of the Vineyard.There is no reason for me to know how many Cooper’s Hawk nests there are in total, but the four I mentioned have been called to my attention in conversations or emails with people who think I might be interested.  It turns out that I am.  Thanks to the observant folks who turned me on to the nests.

First, two distant, and I mean looooong, shots of the down-island Coop’s nest:



Now, some up close and personal ones from Chilmark:








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Birds are cool!  Lanny

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