Vicious? At the risk of sounding anthropomorphic, Alice, I'd say maybe it's for protection or retaliation. Or it's "mobbing" behavior, to which corvids and raptors are subjected by smaller birds. Did the Cooper's look to be a young adult or smaller?
A week or so ago, I was driving, my teenager a passenger, on a street in East Anaheim (by the 91/55, near the Santa Ana River in Orange County) when she shouted, "Mom! Did you see that hawk grab that grey bird out of the sky?" I said no, we're on a curve and I have to keep my eyes on the road. She then asked what the bird was with white wingbars underneath and I said mockingbird. She then wanted to know, do hawks EAT other birds? I said definitely yes and she said the second mockingbird was chasing after the hawk but the first one appeared to be dead. Well, that's how it goes in nature, I said.
My teenager couldn't really ID the hawk but I know we've had Coopers living in that neighborhood in the past and I see feathers from unfortunate Black Phoebes and other birds littering my mother's backyard every so often, and the source isn't feline.
-- "phoenixbirdsalice" <phoenixbirdsalice@...
Hello, I found a juvenile coopers hawk a couple days ago being attacked
by a gang of vicious mockingbirds here in urban San Diego. A family
member called a group that rescues birds and she took it. The bird was
breathtaking! He was having trouble learning to fly and the
mockingbirds thought that they's bully him to death. He or she (the
bird) seemed glad to have help.
Point Loma, San Diego, Ca
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