For the past few days and early mornings I've been hearing what sounded like an injured raccoon or small animal crying out in pain, but never thought it was a hawk. Well, I heard the same sounds a few minutes ago out in the front yard and decided once and for all to investigate. We have a huge juniper bush in our front yard and lots of birds and animals like to eat the berries and insects, so it wasn't surprising to see chickadees chirping away in the branches. Then a I heard a large rustling, and not ten feet away out hopped a BEAUTIFUL hawk from the underbrush. It looked at me for a few seconds and flared its wings threateningly, then soared off into the neigbour's yard. It was an incredible sight that took my breath away, I'll say!
I think it's a Cooper's Hawk. At first I thought it was a Peregrin Falcon, which I've seen around here often (it's always a treat!), and it was too big for a Merlin (which are annoyingly cute), and I've ruled out a few others. It had a slate grey back, a light belly, and a striped tail. And piercing yellow eyes which I will never forget.