Re: Accipiter Identification Help

Steve Taylor

Those are beautiful pictures 

On Jul 21, 2020, at 9:35 PM, Michaela F. <michaelafigari@...> wrote:

Beautiful photos!  This is a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk.  Squared Vs. rounded tail feather shape is most reliable with a bird in flight with a folded tail.  When perched, you want to look at the actual tail feathers.  This bird shows nicely graduated (different length) tail feathers.  A Sharp-shinned would have all same-length tail feathers- this is what gives them the general “squared” shape.  Also note the heavy supraorbital ridge and thinner breast streaking.  


On Jul 21, 2020, at 4:58 PM, Annie Vargas <avargas@...> wrote:

Dear fellow birders:

I would appreciate your input in confirming the identification of some juvenile hawks that I photographed a week ago near their nest in a large oak tree off of Tice Valley Blvd. in Walnut Creek. They were vocalizing frequently. There were 3-4 large juveniles in total. I have posted pictures of 2 of them: one eating prey in a nearby conifer, and the other walking below on the ground. I posted all of the pics (not just the best) from several angles in order to aid in identification:

I assumed juvenile Cooper's Hawk given the flat crown and location, but I've gone back to these pictures all week and can't help but notice the following:

1). The very squared tail;
2). The chest streaking that runs all the way down to the undertail coverts;
3). The zigzag tail band pattern on the underside of the tail.

 I wish that I could estimate its size for you, as I know that this is important with regard to the only other thing that it could be (Northern Goshawk), which is very unlikely. The vocalizations were consistent with both Cooper's and Goshawk, which are very similar calls as juveniles.

Thank you in advance for your help! Happy birding. 

Annie Vargas
Walnut Creek

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