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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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