Thursday, November 20, 2008

Juvenile Accipiter


A group of Blue Jays had seen this hawk first for when I had gone outdoors and was going to my vehicle I heard a terrific series of loud squawks coming from around our back yard area. Being drawn to the noise,
I saw the Jays dispersing while at the same time I saw a hawk scrambling upwards among the branches of a clump of Alders. It was making its way to the upper branches while staying within them.Sharp-shinned or Cooper's? I am disappointed that I did not get a picture of the Blue Jays in the same frame with the hawk, for the hawk seemed much larger than the jays. In David Sibley's, The Sibley Guide to Birds (2000) p. 112, he gives the length of a Cooper's being that of 16.5" and that of a Sharp-shinned as 11". The length of a Blue Jay is also given as 11" (p.351), so based upon my observation that this hawk appeared to be larger than the jays around it, I would be inclined to think that maybe it could have been a Cooper's, but that is just speculation based upon my quick glimpse of its size in comparison to the Blue Jays.

14 comments:

Mary said...

What a wonderful bird! Your photos are so good. I don't think I'll ever learn to identify the hawks...I don't see enough for one thing. I'm always amazed when I see smaller birds chase these bigger prey birds. It's such a brave thing to do. Someone sent me an email yesterday full of "amazing animal photos" and one was of a hawk with a red-wing blackbird on its back. I wish I could put it in my blog, but have no idea of the origin of the original photo.

me ann my camera said...

That sounds like an amazing photo with a Red-wing on its back!! but there are amazing events in nature with so much to see!

Denise said...

Awesome photo, every now and again I will see a hawk but have never been able to capture one with my camera, out in the wild at least. You've done a splendid job here and a very interesting commentary to go along with your post. Such an interesting event to see.

bobbie said...

Wonderful pictures of the hawk!

A Portland Backyard said...

Great photos! I do believe, based on your description, that you have a Cooper's. There's a couple of other things I noticed, too. One is that, from what I can tell, the tail seems to be wider and more squared. The other is that it's legs seem to be pretty thick, not the pencil-like legs of the Sharpie. Then again, I could be so very wrong! Thanks for sharing!

A Portland Backyard said...

Oops! I meant the tail looks rounded, not squared. Think one thing and type another. Sheesh!

Deborah Godin said...

Oh those two - Cooper's and Sharpies - they sure like to keep us birdwatchers on our toes! I think I would lean towards Cooper's too.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Wow, what a treat this must have been, even better that it stayed long enough to get some great shots.

Becky and Gary said...

Excellant images Ann. Your bird posed so nicely for you! I bet the Jays were so glad they got away.

Becky and Gary said...

I forgot to mention how much I like your header. Very clever!
B

gina said...

a wonderful series!! and he is so sharp...i love them.

scienceguy288 said...

I cannot quite tell. The main difference is the tail shape: Cooper's has a rounded tail, while the shinned has a square one.

Rambling Woods said...

Great series and hawks are so difficult for me...

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The Zen Birdfeeder said...

Nice pictures! I agree with the Cooper's id based on the thickness of the legs. Keep up the good work!