Yesterday I blogged about a hawk that has come to visit our Main Reading Room. It has captured the imagination of the public, the media and researchers in the Main Reading Room, as heads are constantly craned upward (I’m really trying to swear off the bird puns!) to get a glimpse. Well, she is still with us (yes, it’s a she), so I wanted to update everyone.
I just came from the Main Reading Room, and it is an awe-inspiring sight: a beautiful, majestic bird against the backdrop of one of the most magnificent buildings in the world.
The bird is a juvenile female Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii). This photo on Wikipedia is quite similar in appearance, at least insofar as I can tell from photos, and my own view looking 160 feet up into the dome.
The bird is reportedly doing fine. A woman from the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia has been up in the dome all day with baited cages, patiently waiting. One commenter yesterday noted that Cooper’s Hawks don’t go for mice or, in his words, “Cooper’s hawks eat feathers, not fur.” At the risk of spoiling your dinner, I’ll just say that I heard the bait that is being used is consistent with that information.
The hawk has confined its hopping and circling to the cupola just below the dome itself, so curious people in the reading room probably won’t get any close encounters. Another raptor expert apparently will be joining the effort starting tomorrow.
Blog readers took to heart my tongue-in-cheek suggestion to name the Cooper’s Hawk. Off the top of my head, I liked “Fenimore” until I found out it’s a female. Some others:
Hudson Hawk, Gary Cooper, Anderson Cooper, D.B. Cooper (well, both of them are known for flying up high), and Addison Hawk (“Ad” Hawk–get it?). The Main Reading Room staff have dubbed it “Shirley,” which I presume came from my oblique “Airplane!” reference yesterday.
Meanwhile, our on-the-spot staff in the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, like all good librarians would do, pulled together some resources about this accipiter, all of which also can be found at this link:
Listen to a Cooper’s Hawk at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Explore these websites for details on the Cooper’s Hawk’s habitat and behavior:
Want to learn out more about hawks? Look for one of these books at your local library or bookstore:
The Wonder of Hawks / by Rita Ritchie and Sumner Matteson
Hawks: Hawk Magic for Kids / by Sumner Matteson
Hawks in Flight: The Flight Identification of North American Migrant Raptors / Pete Dunne, David Sibley, Clay Sutton
If we were a cable news network, we would put “Breaking News” at the bottom of your screen, but rest assured we will keep you up to date on when this Coop finally flies the coop.
Speaking of which, CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer is supposed to run a story today during its 5 p.m. EST hour. Camera crews from local channels 4, 5 and 9 have also been here today, among other media.
A few more photos by Abby can be found below, including a little of the aforementioned media circus, and also yours truly looking like a deer in camera lights. It’s also possible I might be able to update this post with a little bit of video.
And thanks to those who pointed out that I had misspelled “Edgar Allan Poe” yesterday in my haste. I am chagrined beyond description!