While I do agree with Ed's assessment that this is not a Ferruginous
Hawk I don't agree with his entire post. I am not as expert, mind
you, but I have been birding a while. It is true that if a
Ferruginous Hawk were to be found in the Coastal plain it would be
more likely be found in an area of large open fields like the Seal
Beach Naval Weapon Station (where I have seen them) or, in an
agricultural area, and not in an urban park with lots of trees.
Although, I don't really think it is too early for them, they should
be expected any day now, but they like the open spaces.
You were both correct in suggesting that it might be a Cooper's hawk,
and Ed was correct in stating that it was a Juv., however, I really
don't feel that the pictures are clear enough to rule out a Sharp-
shinned hawk. I think this bird, for me, leans more towards a Sharpie
because the fine streaking from the breast goes all the way down to
the leg feathers, the legs look quite thin and it is possible that
the eye is set a little forward on the head (not quite so clear in
these pictures). These are all field marks that would suggest a
Sharpie. Of course, there are other field marks that we can't see
from these photos such as, tail length and feather details. And
finally, it would certainly be reasonable to encounter a Sharp-
shinned Hawk in such a setting and they are around this time of year.
I have had a couple already and would probably have seen more if I
ever had a chance to go birding.
I am going to try and change that after my mid-terms next week.
Anyway, whichever Accipiter it was, I am sure it was really cool to
have seen it eating an Opossum, something I don't think I have ever
Bird Every Moment,