Untamed Lowcountry

VIDEO: Cooper's hawk makes meal of pigeon in blogger's backyard

The list of bird species I've spotted from my backyard in 2014 reached 35 this past weekend, after spotting a pileated woodpecker near the rear of my lot, as well as three Mississippi kites -- one of which appeared to be a juvenile -- soaring overhead.

I've written before about the enjoyment you can get in the Lowcountry from simply looking at the wildlife through your window. My wife particularly enjoys watching the chickadees, wrens and hummingbirds that are attracted to our feeders or to the bird bath, to which we've attached a mister. It's a serene way to pass 15 minutes or so, even if the squirrels are invading the feeders and flinging birdseed all over the yard.

But the creatures outside the window are not there simply for our amusement. They live, they face dangers, they die -- just like we do.

And not birds feed on seed.

This video is a reminder. I'm sharing it with the permission of Cathy Miller, a school teacher, birdwatcher and blogger, who writes "Pluff Mud Perspectives" for the Charleston Audubon. My wife and I met Cathy a little more than a year ago, when we attended a S.C. Department of Natural Resources horseshoe crab tagging program on Harbor Island. We ate dinner together afterward and watched the rise of a "super moon" from the deck at Johnson Creek Tavern. Later, I began following her blog.

The video below was taken by her husband, Carl. It depicts a Cooper's hawk that had been frequenting their yard on James Island ... along with a pigeon that became its prey.

In a recent post, Miller described the encounter:

This brings me to yesterday evening's show during our dinner. Woosh! A sudden movement right outside the window caught my attention and caused me to look up. I missed what it was .... but poof! ..... a sudden release of small bird feathers floated up. I immediately knew that our Cooper's Hawk had come to dine himself. We looked down out the window and sure enough, there was the Cooper's on top of a struggling feral Rock Pigeon who may have outweighed him! Impressive!

Check out the video, and Cathy's blog.