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Thread started 02 Jan 2009 (Friday) 13:50
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Hawk ID please?

 
Richard_Miami
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Jan 02, 2009 13:50 |  #1

This guy decided to visit my backyard in Ontario yesterday.. he stayed for about a few minutes then left, but at least I got a shot off.

Any ID please?

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Jack ­ Dawe
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Jan 02, 2009 14:07 |  #2

It's either a Cooper's or a Sharp-shinned Hawk, but I really wouldn't like to be more definite than that on this view. If pressed, I would opt for Sharp-shinned since the terminal white band on the tail looks quite thin and the bird doesn't look very big. But, like I said, I'm not certain.


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Richard_Miami
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Jan 03, 2009 07:15 |  #3

Thanks Jack. Any one else have an idea?


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canonloader
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Jan 03, 2009 07:25 |  #4

Was he Blue Jay sized, then a Sharp Shinned. Coopers would be almost or more than twice as big. This is a juvie though, cause both adults have red eyes after two years old.


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Richard_Miami
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Jan 03, 2009 09:45 |  #5

Canonloader - he was more than twice the size of an adult blue jay. Must be a Coopers then. Thank you.


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canonloader
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Jan 03, 2009 11:55 |  #6

That's what I'm thinking. There is just too much controversy over identification of Sharp Shinned and Coopers Hawks, especially the Juvies. The Cornell site is supposed to be one of the top sites for ID'ing birds, and if you go to their page on how to ID these two, you will come away even more confused that before. I have recently seen both birds, and can say that the Sharp Shinned is a very small bird compared to the Coopers, and he's not all that big himself, but you can see an obvious difference. :)


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Jack ­ Dawe
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Jan 03, 2009 12:42 |  #7

One does need to be careful with the size difference though. In both species the females are markedly bigger than the males, so that some female Sharpies are not so very different in size from some male Cooper's. But the difference between a male Sharpie and female Cooper's will certainly be apparent.


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canonloader
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Jan 03, 2009 12:53 |  #8

There are also two other things that seem pretty distinctive between birds. Sharpie legs are skinny like yellow #2 pencils, while the Coopers are a little bit thicker. Also, in my small experience, the feathers on the coopers legs come much lower, in the sharpie, it always cut off much higher. That may not be the best identifier, but it seems to be pretty consistant.


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Jack ­ Dawe
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Jan 03, 2009 13:01 |  #9

Interesting tip, that last one about the leg feathering. Thanks, Mitch. I'll bear it in mind and see how it and if it holds up, though sadly I will only be able to test it on photographs/videos for the time being!


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Richard_Miami
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Feb 04, 2009 13:16 |  #10

He decided to come back today.. and pose for me for a few seconds.

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canonloader
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Feb 04, 2009 13:26 |  #11

Definately a juvie with those yellow eyes. Great shots.


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C4Miles
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Feb 04, 2009 13:51 as a reply to  @ canonloader's post |  #12

I'd have to agree with all the above about it being a juvenile Cooper's Hawk - the rounded tail feathers also help to confirm this. Nice captures!


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Jack ­ Dawe
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Feb 04, 2009 16:12 |  #13

Yes, have to agree it's undoubtedly a Cooper's on these pics. Top notch shots too.


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Richard_Miami
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Feb 04, 2009 16:31 |  #14

Thank you all very much. I had to move FAST to capture these.. this guy is spooked by the slightest movement. I think the appropriate phrase is "eyes like a hawk" LOL
I honestly didn't know hawks could turn their heads completely around like that.


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Hawk ID please?
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