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Raptor migration through Edmonton river valley

Coopers Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

Today, after a couple days of bad weather, I went for a walk at the Strathcona Science Park, a provincial park on the eastern edge of Edmonton (follow 17th street north from baseline road (101 ave)). The early autumn colours were starting to come out, but most striking was the number of raptors moving through the river valley. During my relatively short walk, I saw a pair of Swainson’s Hawks, several Red-tailed Hawks, a Bald Eagle perched in a snag, and a Cooper’s Hawk hunting Yellow-rumped Warblers in the shrubs along the river bank.

I didn’t get any photographs of the birds I saw today, so I thought I’d share this one—a Cooper’s Hawk that I caught while working as a bird bander at the Beaverhill Bird Observatory in Tofield. As you may judge from the photo, he was none too happy about the situation, but I really enjoyed getting a close-up look at one of these terrific birds.

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