Early in the morning, I was awakened by the non-stop screaming of mockingbirds. It was considerably louder and more urgent sounding than their usual alarm calls. I threw on a t-shirt and shorts and ran barefoot to the backyard where I soon discovered the reason for their frantic cries.
A young Cooper's Hawk was perched beneath the canopy of the paper mulberry tree. I approached slowly so as not to disturb the unfolding drama. As I inched closer, I expected the hawk to leave or at least seek a higher branch. Soon I was only few inches more than arms length away. And the bird remained there while we locked eyes.
The mockingbirds, working as a team, flew back and forth among the tree tops attempting to intimidate the hawk. But she stuck to her spot, unfazed by their relentless show of aggression. They didn't give up though.
Eventually a curious squirrel moved in for a closer look at all the commotion.
The hawk began to preen and then eventually took a nap in front of me and the mockingbirds.