Outside of the Red-tailed Hawk, I have difficulty in identifying most hawks even using a bird book. I took this photo on Saturday but uncertain which hawk it is. It was smaller than most hawks so I thought that it may be a Sharp-Shinned Hawk, but uncertain. Your thoughts, please.
CLOSED: Hawk ID
Linth, thats a tremendous photo!!!!! Isn't this a juvenile Coopers?
Sorry Linth I don't mean to keep you waiting. I'm still searching for pics of the tails somewhere,lol.
I'm certainly not a Hawk expert but this really looks like a Coopers to me. I think the SS has a sort of notch cutout in the middle bottom of the tail..
I agree. One of the characteristics mentioned in one of my bird books states "The Cooper's is best distinguished from the Sharp-Shinned by it's rounded tail". My second photo clearly shows a rounded tail.
Think, the difference/s may be more associated to the streaking on the breast. See what you guys think ..
The Sharp-shinned has coarse brown streaks, where the Coopers will have thin dark streaks. I may be mistaken, mindja .. but I tend to agree with pelletory: it looks like yours (Linth) may be a Coopers Hawk. Feel free to set me strait ..
I like to tell them apart better from the front too. I have a photo of a ss on my fence but its really terrible so I won't post it. Isn't the coloring on theirs heads different also?
Wow! Awesome pics, everyone! And so much expertise! Oh no, a new addiction (on top of the gardening)... I'm already loving learning from all of you!
Definatly difference in the clearer streaks ... and coarse streak (brindley).
I love your other hawk thread, those are magnificent!
I haven't ever seen a Sharp Shinned with white spots on the back either, they are sleeker more solid gray color...
:> I love these hawks!
Linth you mentioned Red Tailed is one you can ID well.. Look at this one and tell... pretty please? These are ones I see a lot, but not up close and personal.. only a few legible pics to use for identification.
First saw him in the air and got an ok shot.. then got back in my car and drove on my way home. Then I saw he had been going the same direction as me for about 3 miles... Had to pull off the road and get a shot when he landed on a wire shown here...
In a car, from across busy a highway through the window... (no snow though, Mags lol.)
Now see, I'm thinkin' sharp-shinned. I am, however, probably wrong! I am so much better at accipiters in my back yard... :) I sent it, along with the one in flight, to my ace birding friend, Christie. The one in flight is plenty good enough for her. Probably won't get an answer until tomorrow.
Linthicum, What would you think the wingspread is of your hawk. Looks too large to me to be a Sharpie. It is such a wonderful shot of the hawk, can see his feathers so easily, but the coloring seems so light for a Sharpie. Do the Sharp Shinned hawks go through a light morph. It looks similar in color to the Northern Goshawk, but may be smaller.
The Red Tailed Hawks here are in a very white morph color now, seen from underneath are all white. The other day when I was going to town I saw 6 hawks in the first mile away from my house. 3 Red Tails, 2 smaller farther away that I couldn't identify and one Kestrel.
With all the snow on the ground, 12 to 14 inches, I am sure the hawks are having a difficult time finding lunch.
/|| "The Sharp-Shinned has prominent sharp chins."
Okay... Are you saying it's double-chinned? ;-)
Deb, the pics in your posts of 8:43 PM & 8:59 PM are birds in *adult* plumage, not juvenal plumage. Note the different/lighter color of streaking as you describe--and the streaking is more horizontal than vertical. If you already know this, forgive me :)
This message was edited Jan 1, 2007 11:23 PM
COOPS vs. SHARPS Gonna muddle this up a bit more. :) This is from 'The Western Bird Watcher' (Zimmer), which contains some info on tough ID problems.
Sharpies...relative to body size have proportionately long wings and short tails. Cooper's...proportionately short wings and longish tails (relative to body length).
Most guides point to the difference in tail shape as the best separator of Sharpies & Coops. Cooper's have rounded tails while Sharpies have tails that are typically either squared or notched at the end. While such distinctions are often useful, they are far from diagnostic. Many Sharpies have tails that are slightly rounded, especially when fanned. A distinctly squared tail will probably allow elimination of Cooper's, but a rounded tail does not safely eliminate Sharp-shinned. Cooper's of all ages have a broader, more defined white terminal band to the tail.
Cooper's of all ages have relatively massive heads (most apparent on perched birds), but the heads of Sharpies are relatively small. In flight, this results in the head of Cooper's extending much farther forward from the leading edge of the wing. Relative to head size, the eye of the Coops appears small, lending a fierce look. Contrastingly, the eye of the Sharp-shinned is large relative to head size, giving a more gentle look.
Adult Cooper's have very blackish caps that show a sharp line of contrast with the slate gray backs. Adult Sharpies are not nearly as dark-capped and show little or no cap-back contrast.
Juvenile Cooper's tend to be very buffy or tawny on the head and neck, whereas juvenile Sharpies are whiter. Breast streaking on young Cooper's is finer and sharper and does not extend to the belly. Young Sharpies are more extensively streaked below, and the streaks are larger and blurrier in nature. Bother species typically have unmarked white undertail coverts.
The size could be helpful as a sharp shinned is smaller than cooper's , but the range can overlap ( a big sharp shinned = to a small copper's) however if this guy was the size of a crow rather than a blue jay and given it's tail shape and smallish eye and the fact that the cooper's is more common, then my money is on a juv cooper's. But the real winner is the first photograph by linthicum. Terrific. Thanks, Patti
This message was edited Jan 3, 2007 10:06 AM
Isn't this fun? Nice hawk pics Magpied..
We just love hawks!
Thanks Magpye, for the help with my RT pics... I appreciate all the scans (your all heart)!
When I saw it in the sunlight, the *tell-tail* (lol) redsish tinge made me think RT. It's always good to get a second opinion or 2 or 3, hehe.
I was actually wondering what linth thought too. :-)
Some wonderful pics, debnes & magpied ..
I knew that you had inquired of linthicum specifically, Debnes .. I'd just wanted to present some scans to maybe aid you also, before I called it a nite. Please know, that It haint been my intent to try to jump ahead of anyone. ((huggs))
This forum ... has been looooooong overdue!!
Your a sweetheart Mags, I really loved the scans.. they were verrrry helpful!
linthicum, the bird perched at the top o' this thread is an immature sharpie. (from the expert, not moi.)
I didn't realize your question was addressed to linth, either. (expert confirms it's a redtail, though :)
magpied, do you know if their using the shape of beak/head as a reference?