Just when we thought the long quiet day was winding down to a quiet end, we heard the telltale thump of a bird hitting the window. I looked out in time to see this visitor swoop onto the pole holding the bird feeder. Big! Too big to be our old friend Artemis. Darling Husband double-checked the book, and sure 'nuff—Cooper's Hawk.
From the post, the bird hopped into the nearby ash tree to sit and pose for this photo by DH. (Because of her size, we're going with "she" this time.) Moments later, she dropped to the ground near some bushes, then hopped up onto a branch near the fence.
We couldn't quite make out what was struggling in her grip as she ripped feathers from some small body. She'd picked a perch obscured by the gate and two layers of fencing. The plucking seemed to take awhile; but once prepared, the meal disappeared quickly.
No longer hungry, she looked merely bored as she rested and contemplated her next move. In her own sweet time, she lightened her load, looked around a bit more, then launched off through the trees. Only a spot of blood on the branch, one fresh dropping below, and a scattering of junco feathers on the snow told the story.
The survivors promptly returned to the feeder.