Photo by Melody

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)

Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Accipiter
Species: cooperii


4 positives
1 neutral
1 negative


This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Mesa, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
, British Columbia
Kelowna, British Columbia
Canoga Park, California
Cardiff By The Sea, California
Fallbrook, California
Hinkley, California
Menifee, California
Brooksville, Florida
Clermont, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hudson, Florida
Lake City, Florida
Quincy, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Rock Falls, Illinois
Tinley Park, Illinois
Coatesville, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Des Moines, Iowa
Yale, Iowa
Hebron, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Buckfield, Maine
Linthicum Heights, Maryland
Loreto, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Wayzata, Minnesota
Conway, Missouri
Marlton, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Lake Grove, New York
Wading River, New York
Concord, North Carolina
Huntersville, North Carolina
Chillicothe, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Hilliard, Ohio
Sandusky, Ohio
Gold Hill, Oregon
Bath, Pennsylvania
Kintnersville, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Roscoe, Pennsylvania
Hartsville, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Summertown, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Euless, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
New Braunfels, Texas
Plano, Texas

By burn_2007
Thumbnail #1 of Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) by burn_2007

By pelletory

Thumbnail #2 of Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) by pelletory

By pelletory

Thumbnail #3 of Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) by pelletory

By Mrs_Ed

Thumbnail #4 of Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) by Mrs_Ed

By Mrs_Ed

Thumbnail #5 of Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) by Mrs_Ed

By okus

Thumbnail #6 of Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) by okus

By Calif_Sue

Thumbnail #7 of Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) by Calif_Sue

There are a total of 43 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Member Notes:

Neutral GramaMeow On Apr 22, 2009, GramaMeow from Wayzata, MN wrote:

Twice I have witnessed a Cooper's Hawk fly to the ground, walk to a bush and peer up inside of it trying to flush out the songbirds who had just escaped its talons at the birdfeeder. Pretty smart bird!

Negative themikeman On Dec 23, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC
(Zone 7a) wrote:

I usually love seeing large regal hawks and bird of prey but this bird is just nasty. it has really hot ugly and aggresive energy about it, whenever it comes onto my property or the neighboors yard, stalking sparrows and beautiful song birds. This past june 2010 i witnessed the same Cooper's hawk that usually just stalks from up in my back neighboors oak tree, fly into my front yard and viciously grab a large skinny male catbird and viciously toy with it in its talons while starting to rip it's head off and devour it while it was still half alive. mike

Positive joycemarie1212 On Feb 7, 2011, joycemarie1212 from Plano, TX wrote:

Although I can understand themikeman's frustration with the Cooper's Hawk and the experiences he has had, I do not understand why themikeman would want to kill it. After all, it IS a bird of prey that must feed itself and chicks if they are present in the nest. I cringe when I see one swoop upon a dove or a squirrel, of course, but do not wish in turn to violate the terms of nature--i.e., the survival of the fittest.

They are beautiful birds, never nasty in any way that I've observed.

Positive ssherm_larch On Sep 26, 2011, ssherm_larch from CARDIFF BY THE SEA, CA wrote:

While grisly, raptors perform an important function thinning out weaker birds and keeping pest birds in check. While they may take some more colorful and less populous birds like Oriels, they mostly feast on finches and sparrows in my yard. There have been some very interesting recent studies on predators like wolves, that seem to imply that ecosystems can collapse when predators are removed from the environment. I say, enjoy them for their natural beauty and just look away when they eat. I included a photo of one of my visitors perched on my bird bath. He (or she) ignored my dogs, and let me get quite close to take that photo.

Positive Chillybean On Aug 13, 2012, Chillybean from Near Central, IA
(Zone 5a) wrote:

When we first met a Cooper's, I was in awe seeing it perch outside our bird view window. It was seen only the once that winter. We didn't know much about him at the time, but did notice it was awfully quiet at the feeders.

By the next winter, having learned more of the hawk, we used to go out and chase it off when ever we saw it near our place. Especially after seeing several Junco feather piles. The Dark-eyed Junco is our favorite winter bird.

That following spring, our opinion changed somewhat. We didn't see the kill (Not sure I'd ever wish to), but it had supper when we did. A child noticed it eating when he glanced out the dining room window. It had a larger bird- maybe grackle sized and other then a few feathers, it wasted nothing.

We also witnessed it dive for a rat that was eating from our squirrel twirly-gig corn cob feeder. Anything that eat rats rate high in my opinion. After doing some asking around, we learned that Cooper's hawks, like most species, are opportunists when it comes to food. Though their diet usually consists of medium to small sized birds, if a rodent is right there, it's going to grab it. Also, the more inexperienced Cooper's will hunt rodents rather than fast flying birds.

So this past winter when we saw ol' Coop, we set our minds to enjoy him/her, knowing he is as much a part of creation as anything else. Though saddened at any loss of a Junco or Goldfinch, we know it also eats less desirable creatures.

This bird is similar to the Sharp-shinned Hawk, but a little larger. There can be overlap in size between the female Sharp-shinneds and the male Cooper's so I try not to rely on that. A friend shared with me the tip she uses to tell them apart. Sharp-shinneds have no pants! The Cooper's will, meaning they will have feathers that cover the legs. :)

Positive Virgogardener On Aug 5, 2013, Virgogardener from Lake Grove, NY
(Zone 7a) wrote:

I've always loved predatory birds and I was blessed last year when a pair of Cooper's built a nest and raised their 2 young in the woods on our property. It was amazing and the best part was the squirrel population was controlled. I would sit outside in the morning drinking my coffee and one of the juveniles was always watching me from a branch just above me. Their courting dance was amazing. I can't say enough about what a great experience this was to witness. They have since moved but they are in my yard every morning and evening.

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America