Sheltering From The Storm | Outside My Window


Immature Cooper’s hawk sheltering in a garage in Boca Raton, 2 Sep 2019, 3:44pm (photo by Natalie Mitchell)

As Hurricane Dorian approached Florida on Labor Day afternoon and a storm band dowsed the area with wind and rain, my sister-in-law went into her garage in Boca Raton and found a bird, 15-18″ tall, perched high near the ceiling. She texted me a photo. “What is it?”

This immature Cooper’s hawk is too young to have seen a hurricane before, but he knows that the weather is bad and he can feel it’s going to get worse. If he’s a skillful hunter he’s already eaten a lot in anticipation of the storm and just needs a safe place to wait out the weather, so he picked the best available option. He came indoors.

Cooper’s hawks don’t breed in South Florida but they spend the winter there (see range map). This youngster arrived recently and is improvising in bad weather. So far so good.

Cooper’s hawk range map from Wikimedia Commons (orange=breeding, purple = all year, blue=winter)

The bird may have to wait in the garage for a while. Hurricane Dorian could take 24 hours to move out of the area.

When the storm is over this bird will be glad to leave.

(photo by Natalie Mitchell, range map from Wikimedia Commons)