11 May, 2011

Cooper's Hawk

Scientific Name: Accipiter cooperii

Population Estimate: 600K

Range / Habitat: Year-round in forested areas in most of the US. In summer, extends to northern US and somewhat into Canada. In winter, extends to Gulf coast of US and much of Mexico.

Field Notes: Crow-sized hawk with the classic Accipiter shape (broad, rounded wings and long tail, forming a "T" shape) and flight pattern (flap, flap glide). Agile hunter in wooded areas. Adults are steely blue-gray above with warm reddish bars on the underparts and thick dark bands on the tail. Sharp-shinned Hawk similar coloration and range but significantly smaller (jay sized).

Personal Notes: Part of a good day of "urban birding" on the Mississippi River.

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