To an oceanographer, this is an ocean buoy, but for a Cooper's hawk, it's an ideal hunting perch. The buoys, called ocean reference stations, spend months at sea equipped with air- and water-monitoring instruments used to track and predict changes in climate and weather. When the buoys are back at WHOI for maintenance, they are stored near a wooded area popular with birds of prey. "The hawk has been around for more than a year and has been chasing away red-tailed hawks and ospreys," said WHOI engineer Paul Bouchard, who keeps an eye on the local bird scene using the Woods Hole Osprey Cam.
(Photo by Paul Bouchard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)