Thanks for the input on this ID. More opinions welcome. The dilemma in my
mind is Coopers or Goshawk.
This was reactive birding at its best! A heard flurry of mourning doves
from my platform feeder, a LARGE gray backed hawk on the ground, a grab of
my camera. a giz ID of Gos based on size and gray color, a photo through
the window and gone. Then - what's the ID?
This bird was BIG - immediately ruling out Sharpie in my mind. Lacking a
distinct facial/head pattern of a Goshawk, I considered Coopers. As I
continue to contemplate and look at images, the Gos seems to show heavy
streaking on the throat in all plumages with a distinct eye line. My bird
has that whitish chin with a hint of russet on front and legs. I am now
guessing this is a Coopers lacking the above characteristics of a Gos. I
won't charge the ID in ebird yet!
On Tue, Aug 13, 2019 at 4:53 PM Jane Stein <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I agree with Bob that this is not a Goshawk, but differ on some of the
> The absence of a very contrasty broad white eyestripe definitely
> eliminates Gos, as does the hint of orange feathering on the leg. There is
> what appears to be a faint white eyestripe on your bird, which is
> characteristic of Sharpie, but it also appears to have a very dark cap,
> which would make the lighter feathering below stand out and look like an
> eyestripe, but the dark cap is characteristic of a Coop.
> Delving into accipiter eye color is not for the faint of heart because it
> varies by age and even from bird to bird. First-year birds have a yellow
> eye and older birds more orangey, but other than that, it's just not
> consistent enough to draw conclusions from.
> This is an adult accipiter given its basically solid and unmottled back,
> but whether Coop or Sharpie is hard to tell, particularly given the absence
> of anything to gauge its size by. My vote would be for Coop mainly because
> of the bird's sturdy-looking legs, which we don't have enough of a view of
> to be certain. Sharpies of any age have what we call "toothpick legs," and
> the little bit of lower leg we can see in the pic sure doesn't look
> toothpicky. The absence of a crest or crown, which is what I assume Bob
> means by a "blocky head," doesn't necessarily mean this isn't a Coop.
> Coops have a crest they can raise at the back of the head, but if they
> don't raise it, you can't see it. So the crest, if visible, marks a bird
> as a Coop for sure, but the absence of it in a single shot doesn't
> eliminate the possibility.
> Distinguishing Coops from Sharpies is tough, especially in a single
> On Tue, 13 Aug 2019 15:13:16 -0400, R Stewart <[log in to unmask]>
> > Need help IDing the hawk photo attached.
> > My yard birds - 324 Morse Hill Rd. E. Dorset, Bennington, Vermont, US
> > Aug 12, 2019 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM
> > Protocol: Stationary
> > Comments: Feeder observation throughout the day. Quick hawk visit
> > 6:30.
> > 12 species
> > Mourning Dove 4
> > Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2
> > Northern Goshawk 1 A brief visit next to feeder. At least enough
> > to get a picture and a fly away view. Only saw back . Long barred tail
> > it flew away from my viewpoint. Need confirmation
> > Northern Flicker 1
> > Red-eyed Vireo 1
> > Blue Jay 4
> > Black-capped Chickadee 2
> > House Wren 1
> > American Robin 2
> > American Goldfinch 4
> > Red-winged Blackbird 8
> > Northern Cardinal 2
> > View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S58967838
> > This report was generated automatically by eBird v3
> > (https://ebird.org/home)