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Thread: ID needed

  1. #1

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    Wendy

    ID needed

    This guy/girl showed up in the backyard this morning, which doesn't bode well for the chipmunk I saw yesterday (and haven't seen again today ) I'm not sure what kind of hawk it is. I didn't see it from the other side and I did not see it in flight. It got away while I was trying to change my position. I'm looking it up now but if anyone has any ideas what kind it is I'd be very happy to know.

    ID needed

    Wendy

  2. #2
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: ID needed

    Wendy,

    From the looks of it, I would say it is a Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii). The long rounded tail with the dark bands is a good indicator. The vertical almost brush stroke marks on the chest are indicators that this would be a juvenile - as adults, that turns more to horizontal mottling. Do you know how accurate the color is there? In general, these birds have a slate grey back while the chest is usually flecked with a rust/brownish color on white - I am finding it a bit tough to distinguish the color of the flecks on the chest.

    We've had a couple Cooper's Hawks in our yard this summer - making good of the increased birds at our feeders. My wife was at first horrified by this, but I told her that she wanted to put up the feeders to feed the birds, and the hawk is indeed a bird that is using them to feed. It is the natural order of things. In fact, we had a juvenile earlier in the spring, and its hunting techniques left much to be desired and we saw him miss many times... at this point in the summer, when we see him, he's successful almost every time.

    Awesome birds.

    Another possibility would be a Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus), but I'm pretty confident on the Cooper's ID.

    - Bill

  3. #3

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    Re: ID needed

    Thanks Bill, Cooper's Hawk is where I was headed too based on the pictures that I've just looked at. Sorry the colour does not show up better, (there was just a bit of light filtering through the tree branches from behind and to the left) but it is indeed rust/brownish flecked on white. I was thinking juvenile also, not based on anything scientific, but the bird looked and acted very young and I was quite surprised that it let me get so close. It did not fly away until I started moving to try to get to a spot where I could get better light.

    Thanks again for the ID, I will be watching for it to come back. I've seen hawks around here before, but usually circling high in the air. I've never seen one land right in the backyard. We have bird feeders too and I can understand how your wife feels, but like you say it is the natural order of things.

    Wendy

  4. #4
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: ID needed

    Wendy,

    Once his hunting techniques improve, you likely won't see him either. When the adults visit, it is literally a fly-by and they pick off a bird out of mid-air and keep on going. It is an impressive sight.

    The ID book says that the best way to tell the difference is that the Sharp-shinned hawk's head does not protrude as far as the Cooper's hawk's does in flight. Plus the Cooper's tail is more rounded, whereas the SS hawk is a little more square. Plus full size is 16" for the Coopers and 11" for the SS hawk.

    And I definitely agree on the juvenile's behaviors being visibly inexperienced...

    - Bill

  5. #5

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    Re: ID needed

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    Wendy,

    Once his hunting techniques improve, you likely won't see him either. When the adults visit, it is literally a fly-by and they pick off a bird out of mid-air and keep on going. It is an impressive sight.

    - Bill
    Yes, I would love to see that but don't think it will happen around here. There is not a lot of soaring room. I'm really not sure what this one was trying to do. I think it was disoriented or something. I suppose they could hunt in our backyard, but I find a mid air pick off hard to imagine. There are too many obstructions.

    I looked at some comparison picks of the 2 hawks and I definitely think this is a coopers hawk. The tail is more rounded. Size wise I really would not be able to tell. Thanks again, much appreciated

    Wendy

  6. #6

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    Re: ID needed

    Wendy, this looks like a coopers to me. The are found more and more to be hunting over bird feeders. They will pounce a bird off a feeder in a heart beat. I have one in my backyard from time to time.

  7. #7

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    Re: ID needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    Wendy, this looks like a coopers to me. The are found more and more to be hunting over bird feeders.

    Thanks Steve, I will be watching for it to show up again. It kind of makes sense in this area that they would come to the bird feeders. There are subdivisions going up on farms and woodlands on all sides of town.

    They will pounce a bird off a feeder in a heart beat. I have one in my backyard from time to time.

    Seeing them hunt sounds like it would be an awsome sight to see, but I know I would be upset. I've grown kind of attached to the wildlife in the backyard....we have a few squirrels that I might not miss though, do you think it would be interested.
    I hope it leaves your hummers alone, but I don't think anything could catch up with them.

  8. #8

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    Re: ID needed

    That's an excellent shot,Wendy...tack sharp, as they say.

  9. #9
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    Re: ID needed

    Another of the good things about hanging about on here is the fact that you get educated about things other than photography, all the time .whilst enjoying images.

    My partner is big into supporting bird and nature conservation groups and I must admit from having started out not informed at all about birds, the subject does get a hold of you. So thanks to those above for the discussion.

    But thanks to Wendy too for the image. A beautiful study.

  10. #10

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    Re: ID needed

    Wendy,

    I can't see any image.

    Deb

  11. #11

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    Re: ID needed

    Wendy,

    It just came up now. Nice shot, he looks very alert

    Deb

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