re: Unknown Bird
Your description matches our accipiters...likely a Sharp-shinned or
Cooper's Hawk as a Northern Goshawk would be much larger. The first
two occur fairly regularly in the winter months, often stalking active
feeders. The Sharpie and Cooper's can be a challenge to tell apart,
especially if only viewed from one angle. Most field guide illustrations
also depict side views of birds so you have to use your imagination a
bit to imagine front or rear views. Both are primarily "surprise" hunters
favoring busting into a flock of feeding birds and hoping one will be
slow to flee.
As usual, you seem to have a nice count of California Quail. They
would be attractive to the larger Cooper's or a Goshawk. And, of
course, the(Quail & hawks) would make a nice addition to the Great
Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) that starts Feb 15 (Friday morning) and
continues through Monday Feb 18. I hope you will participate, it is
fun, easy, has no fee or registration hassle. The count helps scientists
gather info on the numbers and location of birds...common or rare.
Visit their website anytime between now and the count ending for
all kinds of information and tips. Here is a link. Usually, BirdYak will
double list it but one of the two will work:
Once there, click on Learn About Birds and then of the Tricky IDs...
scroll down to the Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks and...WOW!
More information than I could ever give you! I'm headed there now to
see if I can sharpen my Cooper's skills.
Befuddled Birder by 3700 Bonnie Boone
**************Biggest Grammy Award surprises of all time on AOL Music.
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