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Cooper's/Sharp-shinned Article.


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Following on from the recent ID thread, particularly the square/round tail and graduated tail feathers comments, this article (pdf) is quite interesting (I'm sure there are lots of others).

I was wondering if anyone disagrees with any of the ID suggestions or even any of the specific IDs referenced (there was one I think I would have got wrong).

I was particularly disappointed to learn that "skinny shins and toes" for Sharp-shinned cannot be relied on (see the Cooper's example).

Background: It's -10C with a wind chill and snowing like crazy.

https://eontbird.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Identification-of-Cooper_s-and-Sharp-shinned-Hawks.pdf

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Really good article!  Although it didn't go into great detail about head and body shape.  Yes, there are so many with in-between features which makes it important to look at as many of those ID features as possible.  I've always cautioned against relying on leg thickness and tail squareness.  I admit to explaining "rounded" and "squared" incorrectly.  It IS the shape of the individual feathers, but, as the article states, it is not reliable, especially in the field, and what we really should be looking at is the length of the different feathers.

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