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Old Nov 26, 2007, 5:35 PM   #1
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Is this a young Sharp-shinned Hawk?Wing span I estimate around 20" and the body was about 10"-12" in length not including the tail. Sorry about the picture quality but I couldn't get my camera set-up properly when it arrived after missing some Doves. Plus I was facing the sun even though it was a bit overcast.



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Old Nov 26, 2007, 6:01 PM   #2
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No, sorry, it is a Cooper's again. Look at the end of the tail and you will see that the feathers are graduated in length, with the outer ones being the shortest. This gives tha tail a rounded shape at the end. In the Sharp-shinned Hawk, the tail feathers are all the same length, giving the tail an evensquare-cut shape at the end. This is usually the quickest and easiest way to tell them apart. Size is not always a guide (except at the extremes) as there can be some overlap between larger female Sharp-shins and smaller male Cooper's and you can't easily tell sexes apartin the juvenile plumage. Besides, sizecan deceptive in a single bird - you need something near it (like another bird) of known size to tell relative size - estimates of absolute size are notoriously unreliable.
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Old Nov 26, 2007, 6:09 PM   #3
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cool shot. i often have a tough time distinguishing between a coopers hawk and a sharp shined hawk. i am by no means an expert and from what i have read on different birding sites, one of the differences is the size. sharp shined tend to be smaller and about the size of a dove whereas coopers are much bigger and robust, about the size of a large raven. i am thinking that this one that you captured was a coopers.

penolta feel free to correct me if am i wrong :blah:

- hung

addendum: penolta you are just too fast. hahaha
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Old Nov 26, 2007, 6:33 PM   #4
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Blah....I was hoping it was my 4th raptor I was able to get a photo of. :G



Thanks for explaining how to distinguish the differences between the Sharp Shinned Hawk and the Coopers Hawk. I thought for sure it wasn't a Coopers Hawk because of the differences in size of the two I've taken pics of.



Either way, it's very exciting watching them hover, hunt and just take a break in the trees on my property.

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Old Nov 26, 2007, 6:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
penolta feel free to correct me if am i wrong :blah:

- hung
Basically, Hung, you are right, butsize in hawks can be misleading - they are among the most variable of birds. Besides the individual variation, there is also a size dimorphism, with females being larger. Especially in falcons and accipiters there are overlapping sizes between opposite sexes of similar species which can differ relatively little in appearance. Larger females of the smaller species can approach or overlap smaller males of the next larger species. Hawks (and other birds) can also vary in size from North to South, northern ones being larger. The last is true in nearly everything with geographically large North-Southbreeding ranges,from Ravensto Fox Sparrows toPenguins. It is even true for mammals (It is called Bergmann's Rule, and applies to all warm-blooded species).
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