View Full Version : coops nests

03-21-2013, 02:41 PM
Hello all I have been wanting to share some of my coops nest pictures with you. We watch just a few nest every year and take pictures of the eggs. Over the last couple years the coops numbers have exploded. When we first started taking pictures it seems the nest had more eggs in them. Now we see more nest with just four or five eggs. I find this odd as the white wing dove and collard dove have also just taken over in our area. In town we have seen a dramatic increase in bird life. I think most of this is due to the number of bird feeders in our area. Do you think that the number of eggs in the coops nest are down due to the increase in nest density? We will be out this spring and if the trend continues we will only find four or five eggs to a nest. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

03-21-2013, 02:48 PM

03-21-2013, 02:49 PM

03-21-2013, 02:51 PM

03-21-2013, 02:53 PM

03-21-2013, 02:55 PM

03-21-2013, 04:09 PM
Very cool, thanks for sharing Herman.

03-21-2013, 04:26 PM
Thank you Wes, it is good to hear from you. Are you going for Merlin's this year?

03-21-2013, 04:28 PM
Four or five is the norm here.

03-21-2013, 04:30 PM
This is what we see now

03-21-2013, 04:40 PM
Hello Keith, we see more four and five eggs in a nest now. Some of the nest we have watched produce birds in the most unlikely places. One nest is just ten yards from a school parking lot. Another pair will move the nest almost every year while others stay in the same tree year after year.

03-21-2013, 05:20 PM
Thank you Wes, it is good to hear from you. Are you going for Merlin's this year? Hey Herman, Not 100% sure. If it all works out it will either be a merlin or sharpie. Want something small that isn't a squirrel hawk. LOL

03-21-2013, 05:31 PM
Hi Wes, I would love to fly a sharpshin. But I had so much fun with my Gyr/Aplo last season I will try for another this year. I may even try to fly them in a cast. But a sharpshin is on my bucket list.

03-21-2013, 05:35 PM
Hi Wes, I would love to fly a sharpshin. But I had so much fun with my Gyr/Aplo last season I will try for another this year. I may even try to fly them in a cast. But a sharpshin is on my bucket list.
Sure sounds like you have had a good, fun season. Don't blame you for wanting another Gyr/Aplo! Hope to be reading about your cast next season. Both little birds have been on my "to do" list for quite a while. Hope this year is the year!

03-21-2013, 05:42 PM
Do you have any pics of 6 young successfully hatched?

I won't climb a nest before the young are hatched, but those are great egg shots. The bark lining in the nest cup is classic coops.

03-21-2013, 07:00 PM
Hello Wes and Keith, Wes I hope you have fun with what ever you end up with. Keith we watch the nest until the first week of May. But we don't climb the tree until then, never had any problems with the eggs being abandoned. After the eggs hatch we will check on the young until they start moving away. When we first started we were surprised how long the young stayed in the area. They may go out and hunt but they will come back late in the evening to roost. Very cool to see them for so long. They use small islands of trees as nesting areas and hunt in the neighbor hoods during the day. When I was a child we would travel to the Missouri River and watch for coops doing flight displays from the bluffs by Omaha. We got all excited to see just one, now we see them often and I still feel like I did then. They are amazing raptors.

03-21-2013, 07:06 PM
No pictures of six, but we have seen one pair with six branchers. The nest with seven eggs in it is from the smallest pair we watch. The nest is not twenty feet off the ground. It is in a very dence patch of woods and very hard to observe. I will try this spring to get a picture of branchers around the nest.

03-22-2013, 10:51 AM
Would you mind sharing what to look for when looking for cooper's nests? I live in Wisconsin, and am very interested in learning more about the coops. I don't really know anyone here who flys them, and interested in learning more about them in preparation to perhaps give one a whirl.


03-22-2013, 11:32 AM

There were 6 in this nest, just north of Tulsa in Oklahoma. The pic was after I had pulled one. We find nests in similar areas to what you are seeing in Texas.

If they are in the woods they are always near a creek and not all that high up. In the city they are almost always way up in the crown of Sycamore trees.

03-22-2013, 12:07 PM
Very cool Ryan, thank you for posting and the picture. How did the bird you pulled work out for you? I am tempted every year to pull one. But I have resisted so far, they are very cool birds. I was thinking when I do take one that I will take a late stage brancher. But with three birds and a new one coming it may be a few years down the road.

03-22-2013, 02:03 PM
Nice pic!

03-22-2013, 04:56 PM
The one I pulled from that nest was about 7 or 8 days from being hard penned and was sleeping on his "nest" (box with sticks filling it up) right in front of me. Out of nowhere he sprang up, started seizuring and fell over dead. The weirdest thing, I was pretty shook up about it.

The next year I tried again. Pulled a bird that was only maybe a day or two old. She turned out fine after a hefty does of OC for her training. Caught a lot of starlings and grackles with her. In the end realized that accipters weren't really my thing at that point in my life and gave her to a friend that is still hawking her and has also added bunnies to her regular quarry list. She must be 3 or 4 years old now. (The other bird in the first pic was pulled by another falconer at the same time and we compared them for the pic, I'm not really sure what became of the the other bird, I had heard it caught game its first year then never heard anything more)








03-22-2013, 07:33 PM
Thank you for posting Ryan, sorry to hear about the first bird. The second bird sounds like a great bird. Man I love coops and your story makes me want to pull one.

03-22-2013, 07:52 PM
Hello Emily, sorry I missed your post. I am no expert on finding coopers nest but I will be glad to share what little I do know. I have been looking for coopers nest for many years, I now use a pretty straight forward method. I locate a tree lot located close to an urban area and I start at one end and work my way through it checking every nest I see. I discount any nest that has a dome to it. Or any that have large sticks in it and are located at the top of the tree. I look for a nest that is located right up against the trunk of the tree. It will normally be located under the canopy of the nest tree or surrounding trees. Height is not an issue nor is its proximity to water or heavy human traffic. In some areas this may be an issue but here in north Texas it does not matter to nesting coops. As you go through the tree lot mark each nest even if it is not in the ideal position or condition with a GPS, this may seem odd when dealing with small wood lots but once the leaves come out it will save time. If there is a road or trail through the woods pay particular attention to either side of the trail, the nest if there is one will be located close to the trail. The coops will use the trail like a road to come and go. But like all things there are exceptions, last year it took me half an hour to find a nest after the leaves were on the trees in a wood lot that was a very small. Look along the the inside edge of the woods and check everything that looks like a nest. A few years ago I located the most dilapidated nest I had ever seen. You could actually see holes in it if you stood under it. Four weeks later there was a long tail sticking out over the edge of the nest. Six weeks later it had five coops standing on the tiny flimsy structure. Look for a plucking post but don't limit your search to fallen logs. Look for feathers under any horizontal limb close to a suspected nest site, to be honest I have only found one moulted feather near a nest. Due to the close proximity of people the plucking post could be well off the ground. Making plucked feathers a little tricky to find as they will spread out as they fall to the ground. Later in the spring I will return to the area and from a distance observe the nest. I will look for the long tail protruding from the nest or signs of the nest being used. Do not bother the birds in the early stages of incubation as this is the time that they could abandon the nest. I check the nests once a week from a distance with binoculars until I see the hen sitting on eggs. Our birds will lay about the middle of April and we find chicks around the middle of May. Later on as the hen sits the nest you will sometime see bits of down around the edge of the nest. We don't check the nest until mid May if the eggs have not hatched we leave and put moth balls around the base of the tree. A week later if any birds are to be taken we will come back and climb the tree again. We try and time it so the birds are less than seven days old. It is fun to just watch the young grow from a distance if you are not planning on taking one. The nest area becomes a hot bed of action with the parents coming and going. Once the chicks start branching they will hang around the nest area for a while and it is cool to see them all in the area. I hope this helps you, just looking is fun and and once you find one the rest get a little easier. I know I walked past a few nest before I learned what to look for. Good luck and thanks for posting.

03-22-2013, 07:59 PM
This is how hard they are to see even if you know the location. This pair is very small but I love how the tiercel looks, he is tiny.