Overcast and cool. A Cooper’s hawk calls up in the woods, eliciting a response from what sounds like a juvenile—that nearly universal whine.
Gnats backlit by the sun fly back and forth, reversing direction without slowing down even the slightest. The kak-kak-kak of a Cooper’s hawk.
The wings of insects shining in the sun where snowflakes flew two days ago. The Cooper’s hawk sounds as gung-ho as ever. I sharpen a knife.
A snow flurry turns into a squall, and all the birds fall silent—even the Cooper’s hawk. The ground is white in minutes: an onion snow.
Shadbush blossoms merge with the sky. A red-tailed hawk drops in and is quickly driven off by the Cooper’s hawk, who lands one good strike.
Overcast and cool. Up on the ridge, two or three crows scold a Cooper’s hawk: high-pitched whines, a gargling rattle. The hawk zips off.
Lust is in the air: a turkey gobbling in the field, a Cooper’s hawk calling in the woods, and right in front of me, a sunlit cloud of lekking gnats.
Cooper’s hawks calling up on the ridge. One of them takes flight: such a small bird to be so strident! And the sky begins to turn white.
Cold and blustery. The kak-kak-kak of a Cooper’s hawk, who comes rocketing out of the woods a second later with a redtail in pursuit.
The Cooper’s hawk lands in the yard and the doves scatter—a cacophony of flutes. He flies off east where the icy snow is a blaze of white.