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Help me identify this bird

Posted by shell89 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 18, 13 at 0:19

A recent visitor to my backyard he/she was perched above my chicken coop, my hens did not like it at all!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help me identify this bird

looks like our sparrow hawk(canadian)


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RE: Help me identify this bird

could be a turkey hawk
it's definitely a hawk


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RE: Help me identify this bird

I love seeing hawks except around my pond. Actually, they can come for the next couple of months. I have to replace my fish after a heron got them all.

Poor scared hens!


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RE: Help me identify this bird

It looks like a yearling or young Coopers to me but I'm the first to admit the hawks aren't something I can automatically identify...


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RE: Help me identify this bird

if you have small animals around be ware, I had one that was after my little mini fox terrier, they will carry a small animal off.


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RE: Help me identify this bird

Looks like a juvie Coopers hawk to me, too. Or a juvie red shoulder hawk.Not a Sparrow hawk, but it can be difficult to ID a hawk from just one photograph and no idea where you might be from.

Yaya, what's a turkey hawk? I've been searching the internet and can't find it. I'm thinking that it might be a local nickname....something I'm fascinated with.


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RE: Help me identify this bird

I knew it was a hawk by the "hunched up" shoulders.


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RE: Help me identify this bird

It appears to be a Cooper's Hawk. It appears to be quite large; Cooper's and Red-Tailed fall into the larger category. Red-shouldered look similar to both but without more shots, it's hard to tell. All three are fairly similar.

It's really hard to tell from just one photo. There are a bunch of raptors that look alike and sometimes having additional perspective helps.


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RE: Help me identify this bird

I just googled Hawks and it looks like a peregrine falcon


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RE: Help me identify this bird

Definately not a peregrine. They have beefier legs (not skinny like in the above photo) that are feathered.

I generally use Cornell's All About Birds site to check out pictures. They have helpful comparisons.

Cooper's and Sharp-Shinned are very similar looking too, with the Sharpie being smaller. The eye is the key here but we can't see that in this picture.

Here is a link that might be useful: All About Birds - Peregrine Falcon


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RE: Help me identify this bird

I'd like to see the whole tail, front and back. But, it looks like this will remain a mystery without more information.

I see hawks quite often here....mostly the Red Tail and Coopers. I've started hanging my bird feeders in trees or the midst of a shrub bed so that they have a good chance of escape.

YaYa...I just remembered that the Coopers hawk is sometimes called a Chicken hawk....do you think that might be what you know as the Turkey hawk?


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RE: Help me identify this bird

The beak and talons say hawk for sure. At first, I was puzzled by the short tail until I realized that the lower part of the tail is hidden behind the branch on which the bird is perched. It may be a juvenile (1st year). I don't have my bird book handy.

Yep, the chickens are rightfully anxious about this fellow.


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RE: Help me identify this bird

That would be my guess too.
Turkey=Chicken=Coopers hawk. Never heard of a Turkey hawk before, so agreed, it might be regional.
I see quite a few hawks throughout the year but mostly after each field has been harvested in the fall. Lots of mice to catch out in the open. They are super hunters. They love to sit on the Osage orange tree posts farmers use for fences.


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RE: Help me identify this bird

The nearest ID I can make is an immature Cooper's or immature Red Tail. It has the head and beak of a golden eagle, but its perched stance is wrong for an eagle. What a beak it has! I need to see the tail to narrow choices. Also, it appears to be an immature and its final markings have yet to develop.


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RE: Help me identify this bird

I spend a lot of time IDing hawks and still find this one challenging.

I see you're in the Pacific NW? Please correct me if I interpreted that incorrectly. A very important part of bird IDing is to know the location.

This is a juvenile hawk which makes IDing difficult without seeing the full front and the tail.

The massiveness of this bird, along with the thick legs and huge talons (and bill) indicate this is not a Cooper's Hawk. But I cannot rule out the Accipiter genus here. I cannot see the tail. Back to that in a sec.....

As for Buteos, Western Red-tailed Hawks are usually more marked than their Eastern counterpart and this bird is quite heavily marked down the front side. Perhaps too much for a Red-tailed Hawk (they usually have a white upper chest, not streaked).

The front markings could reflect a Red-shouldered Hawk juvenile, but I don't see the upperwing barring that is indicative of a Red-shouldered (and are they even in your range?). My readings say no.

Back to the Accipiters..... a 1st year Northern Goshawk is a possibility in your range. I would expect to see less of a solid brown upperwing, though, as the juvie Goshawks have a lot of white mixed in with their brown upperparts and also usually have a pronounced white supercilium above the eye. A Cooper's Hawk (smaller, too small- also would have lighter plumage in the head and back. This bird is dark brown).

It's not a falcon at all.....

Ferruginous Hawks do not show much streaking, even as youngsters.....

Rough-legged Hawks just don't look like that at all and have feathered tarsi......

The best I can do off this photo is juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, but I don't like those upper chest streaks for a Red-tailed. Since I cannot fully rule out a first year Northern Goshawk from this photo, I'd say it's one of the two. It just looks too bulky to be a Coop. If I could see the tail I could ID it.


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