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Re: ID Cooper's vs Sharp-shinned Hawk

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  • Andreas Meyer Winnem
    Thanks to everyone that replied to my request about the Cooper s / Sharp-shinned Hawk! Ten persons agreed that the bird in question is a Sharp-shinned, while
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 6, 2006
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      Thanks to everyone that replied to my request about the Cooper's /
      Sharp-shinned Hawk! Ten persons agreed that the bird in question is a
      Sharp-shinned, while no one opted for Cooper's. Field marks in favour of SS
      are

      - dense, broad streaking on underparts, and especially the heavy,
      reddish-brown flank barring
      - thin legs
      - no rusty color on neck
      - central and outher tail feathers have same length
      - eye is placed towards front of head
      - general structure and proportions; in particular a small, rounded head

      Several people pointed out that size and flight were the easiest ways to
      tell these species apart. During one and a half week in California, we saw
      19 Accipiter-hawks of which 3 were definite (female) Cooper's, 5 were
      definite (male) Sharp-shinned, while the remaining 11 birds were left
      inidentified. All ID we made was based on size. It is really amazing how
      much size may differ in raptors, between individuals of the same species.
      The largest Cooper's were the size of a Crow, while the smallest
      Sharp-shinned seemed smaller than a Scrub-Jay. The bird on the pictures was
      intermediate in size. When it took off, it flew low above the ground with
      series of fairly rapid wingbeats interrupted by short glides. We found the
      small Cooper's / large Sharp-shinned difficult to identify, but I guess a
      bit more experience with the two species would have helped a lot.

      Head shape was mentioned as a supporting character. Another picture, where
      the head can be seen in profile, is on the link below.

      http://folk.ntnu.no/winnem/HawkSp_2cy_PaloAltoBaylands_310106_3.JPG

      Andreas (who long back to CA; it was -10 degrees Celsius here in Trondheim
      when I went to work this morning)


      On 3/3/06, Andreas Meyer Winnem <andreas.winnem@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi all,
      >
      > 31 Jan this year I photographed a Cooper's/Sharp-shinned Hawk at
      > Charleston Slough, Palo Alto Baylands. The bird were initially identified as
      > a Cooper's based on lack of obvious supercilium, pale hindneck and somewhat
      > rounded tail corners. But after looking at pictures on the web, the
      > streaking on the breast and especially the barring on the flanks look a bit
      > too heavy for a Cooper's. I have no prior experience with either species and
      > would appreciate any comments on this bird.
      >
      > Two pictures can be found here:
      >
      > http://folk.ntnu.no/winnem/HawkSp_2cy_PaloAltoBaylands_310106.JPG
      >
      > http://folk.ntnu.no/winnem/HawkSp_2cy_PaloAltoBaylands_310106_2.JPG
      >
      > Regards,
      > Andreas Meyer Winnem, Trondheim, Norway
      >
      > --
      > Andreas Meyer Winnem
      > Nordahl Brunsvei 14
      > 7052 Trondheim
      > Tlf: 97042313
      >
      >



      --
      Andreas Meyer Winnem
      Nordahl Brunsvei 14
      7052 Trondheim
      Tlf: 97042313


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