So my last couple of posts have not had pictures in them. Bad! But that was only because, inspired by Corey, I’ve been working so hard on my photography skillz. See?

Cooper’s Hawk plucks Mourning Dove
Cooper's Hawk plucks Mourning Dove

More field marks
Cooper's Hawk with Mourning Dove Feather

Cleaning her beak
Cooper's Hawk cleaning her beak

Haha, just kidding, those are stills from a video my brother took, my photos still look like this:
digiscope fail - edge of binoculars

But I really am back in New York, and a Cooper’s Hawk really did take a Mourning Dove from my parents’ feeder in dramatic fashion. Also dramatic: The sheer number of American Goldfinches around, the increase in the overwintering population of Tufted Titmice in this area (I never saw one growing up), the amount of snow we got this week, my surprise at discovering that birdfood manufacturers put artificial berry flavor but no real berries in their berry suet cakes.

Now, if some dramatic rarities could just show up in the New York City area while I’m still at home. Or I could get a real dramatic uptick in my photography skills.

Written by Carrie
Carrie Laben, after years of writing and birding in New York, moved to Montana to pursue her two great passions more effectively. She recently graduated with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Montana in Missoula. When she is not cranking out essays and speculative fiction stories, or wandering around on mountains failing to see the birds she is looking for, she is likely to be drinking one of the many fine local microbrews or attending a potluck with something from the local farmer’s market in hand. On Mondays from 3 to 3:30 Mountain Time you can find her answering questions about birds on live chat at