At first glance, this hawk sitting in a large tree near our home looked somewhat like a Red-shouldered, a species we see often here. But it surprised us that he just sat there and never moved a bit, even as we got very close. We soon realized why. . . . The hawk was being ‘buzzed’ mercilessly by at least four loud squawking Northern Mockingbirds, and it looked like he was clutching something in his talons. (Sorry I didn’t videotape this!) The Mockingbirds were clearly very upset and angry so we surmised that the hawk had robbed their nest.For several more minutes, the hawk remained on the tree branch, unable to fend off this dive-bombing attack, all the while clinging tenaciously to his prey. Finally the hawk flew off with his catch, the Mockingbirds in hot pursuit!Only when I later looked at these photos on my computer could I see that indeed the hawk’s prey appeared to be a young bird. I also realized the bird’s coloring was not that of a Red-shouldered. The blue-gray head and wings made me think maybe it was a Cooper’s Hawk?! But no, the hawk’s distinctly red eyes didn’t seem right either.
I’m hoping one of my readers will give me an accurate ID! Is this by any chance a Sharp-shinned Hawk??