Jump to content
Whatbird Community

Recommended Posts

One of these years I'll be able to tell sharpies and Coopers apart with confidence 🙂 

Today in southern Nevada.  Thanks!

DSCN5397.JPG

DSCN5562.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the first one is Sharp-shinned (short tail, coarse streaking on underparts) and the second is Cooper's (looks pretty big and bulky), but I could be wrong, so wait for more answers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, AlexHenry said:

I think the first one is Sharp-shinned (short tail, coarse streaking on underparts) and the second is Cooper's (looks pretty big and bulky), but I could be wrong, so wait for more answers.

I agree.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the Cooper's ID.  Due to capped appearance, tail feathers are different lengths, and it does look a bit larger.  Not absolutely sure about the first one.  I would say sharpie, tail feathers seem to be the same length and it seems smaller, but size can be difficult to tell.  Immature birds are harder to tell, especially if I can't tell the size.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm doing my best here, but I'm not an expert, as many here have cause to know.  However, I think the first bird's light-colored underpart markings and small bill jutting out abruptly from the forehead also support Sharpie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first necessity is ageing these things. The first is a juvenile (yellow eye, streaking below, brown upperparts), the second an adult (orange tone to eye, barring below, blue/darker tones to upperparts).

The reddish streaking on the first bird strongly suggests Sharp-shinned, though a minority of juvenile Coops can match that color. The extensive and wide cross-barring on the side feathers also strongly suggest Sharpie. The tail-tip shape on that bird is indeterminable given the angle, but the near lack of white tips to the rectrices also strongly suggest Sharpie, and I have no problem with that ID for this bird.

The second bird's blackish crown being contrastingly darker than the nape is one of the few definitive (at least, virtually so) single features differentiating Sharpie and Coop, but, obviously, only in adult plumages. Though that bird does not seem to show the bulk that I associate with female Coops, the eye being only orange (rather than reddish-orange or red) and the strongly graduated tail (see cropped photo: outermost tail feather -- rectrix 6 or r6 -- on the bird's left side is noticeably shorter than the r5, which is also noticeably shorter than the r4; the r3 is shorter than the r4, but only barely) point toward female as the sex of the bird. The eye color, alone, is not at all definitive for age, as male eye color seems to take a while to get to scarlet; this eye color is probably present in some males in their first adult plumage. However, the combo is probably definitive for sex, or as close to such as may exist in the tricky genus that is Accipiter. Recall that, in accipiters, females and juveniles have relatively longer and more-graduated tails than do males and adults, though variation in this feature seems to be fairly high in the individual age-sex classes. Other good features pointing to Coop include the head being noticeably deeper (front to back) than tall and the bill being approximately in line with the curve of the forehead, thus just an extension of that curve (unlike the jutting bill of Sharpie).

COHA.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say there was recently a Coop at the Raptor ID group on Facebook with a good view of quite long middle toes.  Maybe not as long as those of the first bird's here, which seem to be at least twice as long as either other forward toe.  But I'd still be careful.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...