Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Sharp Shinned Hawk?

Whooee! Well, friends an' foes, I looked out the back door yesterday afternoon an' seen this here hawk that just killed one o' the chipmunks that make my garage their home. Law of the jungle, I reckon, but I wish he'd got one o' the dang squirrels that keep cleanin' out the bird feeder.

Anyways, Ma an' I scoured the bird book an' we sorta figger this was a Sharp Shinned Hawk. Anybuddy got another opinion?

I reckon he was about 15" tall an' his back was more grey than it looks in the pitcher.


Zorpheous said...

Third picture was the best. Up look like a Sharp Shinned to me as well. Good thing about them is that do pest control and are thriving long side man

JimBobby said...

Thanks, Zorf. I was just doin' some online research an' from what I see at:

I'm pretty sure that's what it was.

In third pic, he/she was just about to crap, hence the raised tail.

Otter said...

Cooper's Hawk is theother possibility. Both similar birds, found in similar environments (often bird feeders enjoying our scenery!). Here is a website that may help in ID.


Otter said...

The entire link did not come out the first time. I'm not too good at this stuff...sorry. I've put some hard returns in the website address so you can at least see where it is supposed to direct you.

JimBobby said...

Thanks, Otter. Good tips there on telling apart these two.

Anonymous said...

what a beauty.

900ft j

lily said...

have you looked up merlin? they are little falcons.
we had them one year, they killed all the other birds and made everyone kind of on edge. they have a very shrill cry/shriek.

JimBobby said...

Thanks, Lily. Yes, we've had merlins fairly often and we even had a peregrine falcon a couplafew years ago.

After looking at several bird ID sites, I'm now about 99% sure this was a female sharp shinned. The other 1% goes to Cooper's but the body shape was more round and less barrel shaped plus the colour on the breast faded to white towards the feet.

Otter said...

Last comment on this...I've got a friend who happens to be a naturalist and birdology ('cause I don't know how to spell ornithology) is his specialty. He's leaning towards the Cooper's Hawk for the following reasons:

"This is a tough one, but it looks more like a Cooper's Hawk to me (dark cap, crest, pale nape, very long tail that appears to be rounded). And a Cooper's would be much more likely to grab a chipmunk, too (though it is possible that a Sharp-shinned could do it). The photos are great, but they don't show all the "easy" id features to make this one a snap. But it is definitely either a Cooper's or a Sharp-shinned!"

I've had (I believe) a Cooper's Hawk hanging around the backyard for a few years now, feeding from those animals congregating around the bird feeders.

Either way, fun to watch. Good pictures.

JimBobby said...

Thanks, Otter. It was back in the yard yesterday but in a tree and not easy to get any good pics. If I can get some of it perched on a branch (like a lot of the ID shots are) it should help.

Anonymous said...

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