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Birding/sharp shinned or coopers


Hi Mr.Lederer, I came home to this bird in my yard feeding on a robin and an need help figuring out what it is. Thank you, Marsha

It is definitely a Sharp-shinned or Cooper's Hawk and I'm going with Sharp-shinned but you can confirm it. The birds are virtually identical but the Cooper's is the size of a crow and the Sharp-shinned the size of a jay. But there are overlaps in size so that's not an infallible characteristic. Cooper's has a dome-like head shape while that of Sharp-shinned in rounded. From what I can discern from your nice photo, it's a Sharp-shinned.


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Roger Lederer


Any and all about WILD birds - the science of ornithology. Information about birdwatching, ecology, conservation, migration, behavior, banding, rehabilitation, feeding, songs, binoculars, identification, and careers in ornithology. No questions about pet or caged birds, please.


Have a PhD and over forty years as a professional ornithologist - research, teaching, author, speaker, webmaster of . Have written thirty scientific papers, three bird field guides, a textbook in ecology four other bird books, the latest being "Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs". Have traveled to 100 countries watching birds and have spoken to hundreds of groups about birds.

PhD in Zoology/Ornithology; Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences; former Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico

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