Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Immature Sharp-shinned Hawk

I was on the back deck when I heard a hawk crying in the woods. I looked over and spotted a Sharp-shinned Hawk. I watched it make a half-hearted attempt at grabbing a Blue Jay, which cried out bitterly.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

The Sharpie flew in to a nearby tree. I was a bit surprised that it didn’t seem to mind be on the deck. I worked with this bird for about an hour until the light began to fade.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

I’ve been back and forth on this bird several time. Is it a Coops or is it a sharpie? Round head, flat head, is that tail rounded? Hmm…the tail is worn. Here the tail looks rounded.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Now the tail looks squared off and Coops are not supposed to have a white supercilium (eyebrow).

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Be sure to visit Wild Bird Wednesday this week!


Wilma said...

What fun to see it (and photograph it!) preening and giving you such great displays of its tail. Beautiful photos.

Roy Norris said...

Looks a mean creature. Nice shooting Steve.

Frank said...

Steve, you obviously had a great session with this Hawk.

I remember being told that on a juv Sharpie the chest barring is a much coarser brown. Based on your pics I'd hedge towards a Cooper's .. thin darker streaking plus the general head shape BUT I'm no expert.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Exactly Frank. I've been back and forth on this bird. In this area, the Cooper's is less likely, but that is not evidence.

Cooper's tend to be larger and chunkier, but then, I don't have a side by side comparison of the two.

The tail feathers are an important field mark, but these are warn.

The amount of streaking on the breast and the white on the belly are also clues.

My field guides have some conflicting data...so I remain conflicted.

Margaret Adamson said...

What a wonderful opportunity to see this fantastic bird. You shots are amazing.

Judy said...

You got a lot of images!!! And I am going to assume this is only a small percentage of the total... But I am grateful that you post so many, as I can never get this close to the birds!

Ida said...

No matter which type of hawk it is it's still an awesome bird and your got some fabulous photos of it. Loved all the preening it seemed to be doing.
I missed a shot of a hawk the other day as I drove out our driveway and spotted it sitting on our fence. I quickly got out of the car to get my camera but it flew off and I missed it.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Yes, Ida, I've missed many a bird this way.

Hi Judy, I was trying to keep the number of shots down. It just kept getting better and better.

Thanks Margaret, It's always good to hear from you.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Awesome shots. A very handsome bird!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Incredible, detailed perspectives of this beautiful bird. The fluffed out feathers while preening are quite magical.

Country Girl said...

Found your beautiful blog after googling sharp shinned hawks. I've had four of them back and forth on the property. Two of them seem young and they cry to each other from far across the field when they're high up in the trees. Your images are fantastic. In awe here.

Michel Bertrand said...

L'oiseau photographié est un Épervier de Cooper. Les stries allongées et foncées de la poitrine, l'absence de rayures plus chaudes et élargies sur les flancs, les rectrices inégales en longueur, la nuque pâle, la tête équarrie, les pattes robustes, tout milite en faveur de cette identification. / Michel Bertrand, Sainte-Julie, Qc, bertrmi@videotron.ca

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