There’s a new resident of the Frank Lloyd Wright House at Crystal Bridges—one with wings; and no, it’s not a Pokemon (though there are probably some of those as well).
In fact, it’s a large Cooper’s hawk. Over the last few weeks, this handsome lady has taken up residence on the house’s grounds, perching regularly on light poles and in trees nearby to survey the lawn, and sometimes appearing on the house’s concrete block wall or roof. Last week, our Director of Communications was treated to a fine lunch-hour display as the hawk lighted on a bench some 20 feet away and then proceeded to make a series of swooping reconnaissance glides across the grass.
Cooper’s hawks are the hawk species you are likely to see on Crystal Bridges’ grounds. They are woodland hawks, adapted to fly through trees and branches at high speed after prey. They’re particularly skillful at catching medium-sized birds, such as doves or robins, and will sometimes hang out around birdfeeders looking for an easy meal. The female is much larger than the male, which makes me think our resident is a female, as she looks pretty full-figured in photos, and those who have spotted her often mistake her for a red-tailed hawk.
Red tailed hawks are larger than Cooper’s hawks, but red-tailed hawks prefer open country. You’re more likely to see them flying over Crystal Bridges than perching on the grounds so near the forest. Red-tails also have a much shorter tail than the Cooper’s hawk, which has a long, boldly striped tail.
We’re pleased to have such a stately mascot at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House. Surely Mr. Wright, who favored the integration of nature into daily family life, would have heartily approved.
Several staff members have snapped photos of our resident hawk. If you have photos of your own, share them with us! #CrystalBridges.