(Edited per Dave’s corrections–Thanks Dave!) A sharp-shinned hawk grabbed one of the mourning doves that hangs out at our feeder. I’m glad we didn’t actually see this happen, just the aftermath. We had just been talking about this pair of mourning doves and whether or not they might nest in our backyard this year. I know this is the way it works. Many raptors starve and they must take every opportunity to eat. It was just heartbreaking to see the surviving dove sitting in a nearby tree watching. Very sad. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Nice shots! But after looking at them, I’d ID this bird as Sharp-shinned Hawk, rather than Cooper’s, based on two things
1) the skinny legs; Coops have robust legs, and Sharpies have pencil-thin legs
2) the position of the eye in the center of the head, rather than more forward. Coops have eyes that are about 1/3 of the way back from the beak, and Sharpies have eyes that are approximately 1/2 way back.
That’s good to know. Now that I’m looking at the two side-by-side in the field guide along with my pictures, I think you’re absolutely right. Thank you again for the info!
Awww, it’s sad when you get to know a couple of birds and something happens to them. I just saw a sharp-shinned take a dove this morning, too.