I pulled into the Shelburne Beach parking lot
this morning at 7:00 a.m. I saw a large accipiter
fly up into a conifer from the ground, no more
than 25' from me. It stopped on a branch facing
me. It basically dwarfed the American Crow that
was shouting at it from about 10' away. My first
thought was Goshawk because it was so big. I then
noticed that it was a juvenile from the dense
streaking on its' entire front side. I then needed
to figure out if it was a Goshawk or a Cooper's Hawk.
One of the easiest ways to identify a juv. Goshawk
is to look at its' tail bands to see if they are uneven.
When I looked at the tail bands of this bird, I did
find them to be uneven. A Cooper's Hawk has even
tail bands. I could also see a whitish
supercilium. When it flew off I looked at the
tail. It was completely fanned open which
enabled me to see the tips of the tail feathers.
On a juv. Goshawk each tail feather sort of
comes to a point. It creates a jagged or serrated
edge along the rounded end of the tail. A juv.
Cooper's Hawk has a smoother rounded end
on its' tail.
I hope that some of you get the chance to see
a juv. Goshawk sometime. They are an awesome,
powerful and majestic sight.