Battle of the Predators – Cooper’s Hawk versus Barred Owl

Who would win in a fight between a Cooper’s Hawk and a Barred Owl?  Hold that thought.  Now imagine it’s two owls versus one hawk.  Okay, proceed.

Two nights ago, I had just finished some mowing when I heard a Barred Owl not too far away.  Then I heard another, so I started recording them on my smartphone. What followed was one of the coolest wildlife spectacles I’ve ever experienced. Here’s the audio:

Fight between Cooper’s Hawk and two Barred Owls.

As soon as I started recording, it was clear that my local Cooper’s Hawk was none too happy with these Barred Owls. I don’t know what actually started the skirmish.  Perhaps the owls had gotten a bit too close to the accipiter’s nest?  Maybe it was the Coop who instigated the problem, by perhaps nabbing a fledgling owl?  I just can’t say.

What I can say is that the animosity between hawk and owl escalated to crashing through the branches, so they were really going after each other.  Ultimately picture this: The Cooper’s Hawk erupted from the trees on top of one of the owls. It had the owl gripped by the back of the head and threw it down to the ground – right in front of me – before “kekekekek”-ing one last time and flying off. The beaten owl sat on my lawn for a few moments to regain its composure and then flew off with the other owl.

This was a vicious throw-down. Barred Owls are no wimps but from where I stood, a lone female Cooper’s Hawk triumphed over two of them, and for all I know mortally wounded one in the process. I’ll provide any updates I can as warranted. . .

This entry was posted in animal behavior, bird evolution, birds/nature, environment, life and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Battle of the Predators – Cooper’s Hawk versus Barred Owl

  1. Update: 6/9/17 – This evening I was in the woods and heard two Barred Owls. That’s at least a good sign that the one that was beat up so badly survived the encounter. So I gave a couple of calls to them. Moments later, the Cooper’s Hawk was in a tree very near to me, calling loudly. This feud is ongoing . . .


  2. Very good blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any tips? Thank you!


  3. Mike Schwan says:

    This past spring I had a barred owl nest in close proximity he to a Cooper’s hawk nest. Bottom line was the owls stayed and the Hawks deserted their nest. I observed two owls going after the male hawk. The male being significantly smaller than the female.


  4. Your style is unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this web site.


  5. Reblogged this on Payne County Audubon Society and commented:
    Just reblogging ’cause the audio is so cool!


  6. Cindy Martindale says:

    We had a more humorous story with a Coopers Hawk on the blind in our back yard. It was sitting towards the middle and there were two squirrels, one on either side of the hawk. The squirrels would chitter and posture at the hawk and the hawk would flap it’s wings and vocally protest. This went on for several minutes before my husband chased him/her off on behalf of our songbirds. . The hawk didn’t leave readily.


  7. All Games Bonus for slots & games only.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s