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GregH

Can't Nail Down This Hawk/Falcon

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I can't see to identify this bird. At first I thought maybe a Prairie Falcon (near Colorado Springs, CO) but then it doesn't have the streaks coming from the eyes as the Prairie Falcon does. And if it's the same one I keep seeing, I was hesitant to think it's a juvenile. Many of the other similar birds in either the hawk or falcon designation, always seem to have some significant visible feature that this was doesn't have (yellow-ish beak or around the eyes, more dotted chest marks rather than streaks etc.).

Anyone have a notion?

Thanks!

Falcon-1a.JPG

Falcon-2a.JPG

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This is a juvenile accipiter, and Cooper’s hawk seems like the best option. It has a large headed appearance with thinner streaks than a sharp shinened. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

sharp shinened.

Sharp-shinned.

Edited by Kevin

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Posted (edited)

You should not type so fast!:classic_tongue:

I did not know if @GregH would know what you meant, so I went ahead and put the right name.

Edited by Kevin
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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Typing on an old phone isn’t easy. 

I type(and spell) bad with a regular keyboard.

Out of reactions again! Humbug!  

Edited by Kevin
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Thanks for the replies. I was reading that this particular hawk is one of the more difficult to distinguish between the Cooper's and the Sharp Shinned and that size could play a part in telling the two apart.

Since the image doesn't provide much in the way of reference, I would say this hawk was probably no more than 14-16" tall, suggesting the Sharp Shinned, and yet the article goes onto say, "Except if it's a small 'female' which might then suggest a Cooper's hawk," (doh).

Dang! 😏

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Posted (edited)

It's a Cooper's. As Conner already pointed out, notice the streaking on the chest which is thinner than one would expect on a Sharpie. Also notice the head shape, which is far too blocky for Sharp-shinned, as well as the very fine streaking and patterning on the head.

Size of the feet/legs really is a tertiary field mark, I would not use it in this instance. Also, keep in mind the sizes of these birds vary wildly by sex.

Here's a great blog post about separating the two: http://wing-tips.blogspot.com/2017/12/sharp-shinned-and-coopers-hawks.html?m=1

Edited by Benjamin
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2 hours ago, Benjamin said:

It's a Cooper's. As Conner already pointed out, notice the streaking on the chest which is thinner than one would expect on a Sharpie. Also notice the head shape, which is far too blocky for Sharp-shinned, as well as the very fine streaking and patterning on the head.

Size of the feet/legs really is a tertiary field mark, I would not use it in this instance. Also, keep in mind the sizes of these birds vary wildly by sex.

Here's a great blog post about separating the two: http://wing-tips.blogspot.com/2017/12/sharp-shinned-and-coopers-hawks.html?m=1

Absolutely a Cooper's.

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21 hours ago, Benjamin said:

It's a Cooper's. As Conner already pointed out, notice the streaking on the chest which is thinner than one would expect on a Sharpie. Also notice the head shape, which is far too blocky for Sharp-shinned, as well as the very fine streaking and patterning on the head.

Size of the feet/legs really is a tertiary field mark, I would not use it in this instance. Also, keep in mind the sizes of these birds vary wildly by sex.

Here's a great blog post about separating the two: http://wing-tips.blogspot.com/2017/12/sharp-shinned-and-coopers-hawks.html?m=1

Guess I lean towards the Coopers also because in that blog (wing tips), it suggest the head is flatter and more angular towards the back, which this one seems to be (though in the image, it's stretching out a big which may influence the back of the head shape).
 

Falcon-3a.JPG

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Right. Structure is an important field mark when separating Cooper's/Sharp-shinned. Sharpies have a very round, small head, while Cooper's have a much blockier shape. This alone should be enough to tell you that your bird is absolutely a Cooper's.

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