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Cooper's Hawk on OR birds

posted by Jerry Liguori at
on Sunday, April 15, 2012 

Several people have asked me about this accipiter on the Oregon bird list, so I thought I'd just comment on the blog. And, if there are raptors being debated on local bird lines in the future, I may just do the same instead of giving my ID behind the scenes. This bird was photographed by Jack Williamson, a beautiful photo and great documentation. Here is the link to the photo, made public, so I'm assuming it is OK to post it here...but if not, I'll take the blame:

Click here to view the photo

This bird in question is absolutely an adult Cooper's Hawk for the following reasons:

- Very long tail with a broad, white tip.

- 'Large' head with blackish cap and contrasting pale nape (also smallish eye appearance). Sharp-shinned have blackish heads and napes that blend in with the upperback.

- Paler bluish upperside (as opposed to slaty) and grayish cheek make it a male (the reason it is more difficult to ID than if it were a female Coop). Many males in their first adult plumage have rufous cheeks...and this bird has hints of rufous and a pale eye (so, likely it is a bird in its first adult plumage, but not definite).

I am working on an article on this very subject, but too busy to get it together at the moment

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very informative description of why this is a Coopers hawk. The gray cheek patch is a good sexing tip,thanks.

Pete Gustas

April 15, 2012 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Vic Berardi said...

Jerry, excellent writeup & explanation on this accip! In general shape/structural characteristics, the male Cooper's Hawk has always been troublesome for most birders. But one thing you continue to teach all of us is to look beyond general impressions. It's all there, as it is on this bird, you just have to look for it.

Thank you for all you do and sharing it with the rest of us!

April 15, 2012 at 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Jerry said...

Thanks Pete and Vic....

April 16, 2012 at 9:35 AM  

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