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.
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Their population is now fine and the birds are year-round residents over much of Kansas.