Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter-cooperii)
One of our most common urban birds of prey, Cooper’s hawks are often seen flying into yards, attempting to catch unsuspecting songbirds at feeders. Male Cooper’s hawks typically build nests, then hunt food for the female and young. Females will often aggressively defend their nest, and may not hesitate to “dive bomb” people who get too close. Their nests are commonly seen in large trees in urban areas, and they may utilize the same nesting area each year. In the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, look for these hawks in cottonwood trees along the Virgin River, or in flight with their “flap, flap, glide” pattern typical of Accipiters (the same genus as the similar sharp-shinned hawk, and the larger northern goshawk).