stuff and things

29 November 2011

A New and Different Raptor for Us ...

We spotted this wonderful hawk in a tangle of branches far above the canyon to the west of Balboa Park's dog park. We're still new to bird watching, however, and would like some help with identifying it, if you can shed any light for us.



We think it's either a Cooper's Hawk or a Sharp-shinned Hawk. They're very similar, but the latter's smaller. I was struck by the small size of this hawk upon walking up on it, which is why I'm leaning toward the latter. Andy think's it's a Cooper's, because it seems to him at least 16" tall. Either way, we think it's a young adult, inbetween juvenal and adult plumage.

Thanks in advance, and enjoy this wonderous world of ours.

4 comments:

Carol A. Babineau said...

I looked it up in my bird book, and it appears to me that it is a Sharp-Shinned Hawk.
The band along the tail end was the deciding factor for me.
Sharp-shinned have a square tail and Cooper's slightly pointed.
Cooper's also have a white tip.

Frieda said...

Nice photos, what kind of camera are you using?

Anonymous said...

It's definitely a coops. Rounded tail feathers are apparent in the pictures plus legs are thicker and shorter than those of a sharpie.

Sue V said...

I tend to go with Coopers too but it would be nice to see the head closer to compare the eye's placement on the head. Here's a comparison chart:

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/accipiterIDtable.htm

Hugs, Sue