Gwen and Stephen’s unwanted guest was back this morning. It turns out to be a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk. I’m guessing a female because she (?) is pretty hefty. (Among raptors, the females are up to a third larger than the males. The ladies are the baddest asses of them all, which gives raptors bonus points.) I’m calling Cooper’s instead of red shouldered hawk because of the yellow eyes. Also Coopers eat other birds so that would explain its interest in G&S.
So why would a Cooper’s Hawk be interested in eating something as big as it is? A fondness for Super-sized is not limited to humans apparently. The answer is inexperience. It turns out it takes some skill to grab a fully-flighted healthy tweety bird out of the air. They are small and relatively fast. The larger the bird, the bigger the target. And Mademoiselle Coop has a point that Gwen and Stephen are 1) large and 2) have limited room to maneuver. The problem is, of course, getting in to the enclosure to pick up lunch. Hence the repeated reconnaissance trips.
It is, however, time for a thorough inspection of the enclosure to ensure that our avian stand-off does not go any further than angry stares and alarm calls.