Ate. Too. Much. Cooper’s Hawk #GloucesterMA

Just outside the window, my neighbor encountered a hawk which had been there all morning. Here’s the expressive Juv. Cooper’s Hawk. Dec. 30, 2022 that took breaks digesting and feasting on a branch in a tree, on a downed branch, and the ground during a four hour window that was long after its feast began.

vid clip caption: Alternating with inactive bouts of long perch times, Juv. Cooper’s Hawk is active feeding. Here turns around with prey on pesky perch.

vid clip caption: Juv. Cooper’s Hawk slipping, stretches prey and turns on branch

vid clip caption: Juv. Cooper’s Hawk slipping more, stretches prey and turns on branch again, eyeing options down below favorably

Opted for a downed branch, then ground.

Back up to 2nd perch, more digesting. Head turn in response to distant train whistle.

vid clip caption: Juv Cooper’s Hawk flies away from a 2nd tree branch digestion perch after finishing off prey on ground

This is all normal digestive process for the bird. It takes hours depending upon the size of the prey (birds, small mammals). Prey is ripped apart and swallowed down the esophagus into an ingenious multi compartment stomach sorter –a hopper (the “crop”), the acid bath proventiculus, and gizzard– then on through intestines till it poops. The pellet is coughed up long after.

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