Cooper’s hawk nest site characteristics in the Pineywoods Region
Early accounts describe the Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperi) as a species in decline in much of North America during the early twentieth century (Bent 1937), particularly when in close proximity to humans (Eaton 1914). This decreasing population trend continued to be recognized later in the century in both Texas (Oberholser 1974) and Louisiana (Lowery 1974). Shooting and trapping during the first half of the 1900s, and pesticide use (especially DDT) after World War II are suggested as primary causes of the decline (Henny and Wight 1972, Bednarz et al. 1990). The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1972 and the ban on DDT during that same year, along with changes in human behaviors and attitudes have guided Cooper’s Hawk populations toward recovery in areas negatively impacted (Bednarz et al. 1990, Johnsgard 1990). The overall North American population has increased substantially since the 1990s (Curtis et al. 2006), and the species is increasing as a breeder in parts of Texas, particularly in urban areas (Lockwood and Freeman 2004).