Life's not just a bowl of sunflower seeds and thistle around local bird feeders. Any songbird that drops its guard while eating may end up getting eaten by a Cooper's hawk.
Cooper's hawks are fairly common in Kansas and they find some of their best hunting in wooded urban and suburban areas. The 17-inch long predators feed mostly on smaller birds they snatch while the prey is in-flight.
According to "The Guide to Kansas Birds and Birding Hot Spots," Cooper's Hawks numbers were once pretty low. Poisoning by DDT and illegal shooting were to blame.
Their population is now fine and the birds are year-round residents over much of Kansas.