^Feared predators in the bird world, this Cooper's hawk came out of nowhere to kill a Gambel's quail. Present periodically throughout the year (less in summer), I can almost tell when one is around the yard: the sparrows become strangely quiet, and the quail are not to be seen. Sure enough, shadowy wings dart silently aound tree trunks and through leafy branches -- a Cooper's hawk trying for a bird. They seem to take birds as small as White-crowned sparrows, while the tiny birds like warblers and kinglets seem less concerned about the hawk's presence.
^The hawk kept busy pulling feathers off the carcass, then ate bits of flesh.
^This Cooper's hawk flew off with its rabbit kill to eat in a tree.
^A large Cooper's hawk diving off a branch flying downward and swooping away low.
^A large female.
Cooper's hawks prefer dense riparian groves and montane forests, where they breed in Nevada. The Grapevine Mountains 20 miles to the west of Oasis Valley is a nesting area. The hawk may have once bred in the Cottonwood groves of Oasis Valley, but no evidene exists for this currently. It is a sporadic nester in Saline Valley and Owens Valley farther to the west in California (Inyo County).