I was astounded when I read Toni's (A Spattering) post about her experience with the hanging white-breasted nuthatch in her yard and the fact that she had scared off a Cooper's hawk, because I had an almost identical experience here on the same day!! I looked out my window in the back and saw a white-breasted nuthatch just hanging from the catch tray on my sunflower seed feeder (In my haste and excitement when commenting on Toni's blog I wrote "suet" feeder). I have seen nuthatches perform some weird maneuvers but when he stayed there for quite some time I wondered what was up. I called my husband into the kitchen to check it out and he noticed a downy woodpecker on the other side of the deck just "frozen" clinging to a post. I've seen this behavior before (I read it's part of the "Fight-or-flight response" to danger) and I told him that there must be a hawk around. I went to the door but didn't see the hawk. My grandson, never one to be left out of anything, came to the sliding glass door and started pounding on it. That didn't cause the nuthatch or downy to move but a few minutes later a Cooper's hawk swooped over the deck and into the pines. The nuthatch and WP just stayed in their places and I grabbed my camera. I went out onto the deck and took these shots of the nuttie and downy. I was only limited by the close focus distance on my long lens and if I had had my macro on I could have gotten very close but these birds were already traumatized enough. The last two shots are of a Cooper's hawk I found dead in my yard last winter. There is no gore, but it may not appeal to some. I just wanted to provide a pictoral reference.
Beautiful piercing eyes.
Sharper-than-nails talons wrapped around my thumb! It's no wonder the little ones freeze in terror.