On Mon, 15 Oct 2018 21:45:07 -0400, Jane Stein <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Heh! Sharpie vs Cooper is the single most difficult ID among raptor
>enthusiasts, so no shame if you got it wrong-- if you did! Actual
>raptor experts might have a different take than Zach and I do.
>Experienced hawkwatchers have been known to literally come to blows over
>the ID. But... I doubt it. I'm an enthusiast of many years, not an
>I wouldn't rely on the "bug-eyed" look since it depends so much on the
>angle of the bird and the picture and the familiarity of the observer
>with these guys. But the tail feather length in such a clear pose as
>you got (not always the case in photos in the field!) is truly
>definitive, as is the thickness of the legs, when you can see them.
>Banders have wildly different bands for Coops and Sharpies, and once I
>saw those, I was totally convinced of the dramatic difference between
>the 2 species, not just variation from individual to individual. Pretty
>much everything else is more impressionistic, so not really reliable for
>ID, only as contributing factors that can very easily lead the observer
>One other factor to consider is that although there are more Coops
>around than there used to be, Sharpies still outnumber them by quite a
>bit. So Sharpie is the default ID for a smallish Accipeter, and an ID of
>Cooper's needs more confirmation from observable characteristics like
>leg size and tail feather lengths.
>Resist the ebird police! But do let us know here if you get interesting
>feedback, positive or negative, OK?
>On 10/15/2018 8:25 PM, Cynthia Crawford wrote:
>> On Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:01:54 -0400, Jane Stein <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Agreed, Zach. The tail feathers, despite the broad white tips, are the
>>> main tip-off-- all the same length. In this tail position, Coop's has
>>> noticeably shorter outer tail feathers. The relatively small, bug-eyed
>>> head is another. Chest streaking is harder to judge, for me anyway,
>>> because it's not that consistent from bird to bird.
>>> It does look large and chesty for a Sharpie, but that may be the lack of
>>> context from this close, since it's impossible to tell from the photos
>>> how large those branches and trunks are. And a big female Sharpies can
>>> be pretty close to male Coop's in size. Lastly, I'd add this bird's
>>> rather thin, stick-like legs, although there's only a glimpse of them in
>>> the one pic that shows the bird lifting off from its branch, as
>>> contrasted with the Coop's thick, sturdy-looking legs. The Coop often
>>> chases prey on foot, whereas the Sharpie rarely does, so the difference
>>> in the evolution of leg size actually has a purpose.
>>> On 10/15/2018 7:35 AM, zach schwartz-weinstein wrote:
>>>> Sharpie, with the messier reddish streaking, bug-eyed appearance, small
>>>> head and bill, and even-length tail feathers. Nice photos.
>>>> On Mon, Oct 15, 2018 at 7:33 AM Veer Frost <
>>>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>> Gorgeous, thank you, hope someone will know.Veer Frost, Passumpsic
>>>>> On October 14, 2018 at 9:55 PM, "cynthia crawford" wrote:Got some
>>>>> pretty good pictures- pretty sure this is a Cooper's. Opinions
>>>>> Cynthia Crawford
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>> Thanks Zach and Jane- appreciate your thoughts. I noticed the thin legs/feet especially, but felt the head was a bit large. Perhaps because of the extended neck photo. I wasn't aware of the "bug-eyed" feature for Sharpies, so that's helpful. I think I will report it as a sharpie and see if I get corrected by the ebird "police". ;).
Gotcha, Jane. Will report id the "ebird police" come after me. ;). Meanwhile, here's a very sure Cooper's Hawk: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33836164@N03/albums/72157702301051484. I think the tail tells all here...or maybe it's a tall tail? ;)