It started with the territorial alarm calls of a pair of mockingbirds in the tree that grows over into the front yard. Jiggy, the cat most noted for messing with them was inside, so I knew he wasn’t the source of their distress. For once.

Judging from how high up in the boughs the confrontation seemed to be coming from, it probably wasn’t another of the nosy neighborhood cats. It was probably a bird. Maybe a crow or a red-tailed hawk, and as I moved out onto the front porch I saw a flash of feathers moved northward to a palm tree about 100 yards or so up the street pursued hotly by the mocks who landed on a frond near the raptor and recommenced their tag team divebombing defense.

“I think that’s a Cooper’s hawk,” I said to Ranger — yes, out loud — who was looking out through the library window, and as if on cue the bird let loose with its characteristic call that too me sounds like laughter.

Though the bird was far out of range of any decent images — even those I could get with the 300mm lens on my Rebel digital — I retreived it and came back outside to get something… anything as I’d not yet pixelized the rather elusive creature (click images for a 75% enlargement):

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That last picture found the bird in the pines at the corner of Silver Lake Boulevard and Ellett Place, where it flew to from the palm tree. About 400 feet away, as the hawk flies.