His name was Dale Hoffman, he lived a mile away, and he was watching two Cooper's Hawks build a nest at the top of a pine tree just off the road. He pointed it out to me, a huge mass of sticks crowning the tree, but shielded from view by the branches of a larger, dead tree. He intended to photograph the hawks from egg laying through raising their babies to adulthood.
He was also standing guard. The road commission was trimming trees along the power lines, and the hawk's nest was close to where they would be cutting, just when the pair was laying eggs. Fearing they would abandon the nest, Dale made sure the tree trimmers skirted the area until the young hawks were grown. They'd have to come back in two months. He got no argument - Cooper's Hawks are protected in Michigan.
I saw Dale all summer as he kept a daily log in photos of the hawks raising their brood of four chicks. It turns out Dale is a pretty good photographer (in addition to having long hair, a rugged physique, and abs of steel - or so he says. He knows I write romance!) He allowed me to share his photos here.
The adult's wingspan is from two to three feet, the female being larger than the male.