Sunday, February 09, 2014

Identify the Hawk


Not a Jayhawk, but not sure if it is a Coopers Hawk or a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Most resources say both Coopers and Sharp-shinned hawks look a great deal alike.  It was cold when this picture was taken so it looks fluffy which might change some of the identifying characteristics. 

Coopers Hawks are bigger overall with bigger heads and longer necks.  They have a pale nape in clear contrast to a dark head. 

It is hard to tell by this picture, but the tail feathers of a Sharp-shinned Hawk are all the same length where as the Coopers outer feathers are shorter. 

You can read it more detail here.  Overall, though, I think this is a Coopers Hawk.  We see many hawks soaring over the open fields.  With the snow cover, I am sure invading a song bird feeder for their next meal is tempting.  I suspect that is what happened here.  The picture was taken just a few feet away from this area where Dan scattered some grain.