Working in the backyard today, I heard the sound of a kerfuffle and looked up in time to see a male Northern Cardinal streaking across the yard. Now, if you have observed cardinals, you will know that they do not streak. They normally fly in a rather leisurely undulating fashion. But this guy was streaking for all he was worth. He dived into the wild hedge along the back fence and was followed closely by a brown blur. The Cooper's Hawk was hunting again.
The hawk's projected lunch escaped her clutches. She (I think it's a female.) sat and looked into the tangle of vines and branches for a moment but there was no way she could extract the cardinal. Then she flew up to the branch of my old crape myrtle tree, where she was half hidden from my view by leaves and branches.
I've tried and failed repeatedly to get a picture of this bird. Usually, I either don't have my camera when she appears or she speeds across my line of vision so fast that I don't have time to react. Today, my camera was close at hand, and even though she was partially obscured, I decided to try to get a recognizable image. I reached very slowly for the camera, not wanting to spook her. I didn't dare move from my location to try to get a clearer shot for fear my movement would send her flying. Here's what I was able to capture with the camera.
You may not be impressed with these pictures but they are actually the very best I've been able to get so far, but, just like the bird, I am undaunted and I will keep trying for a better image.