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!

E. Dorset

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
> details.
> 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
> photograph!
> Jane
> (Shoreham)
> On Tue, 13 Aug 2019 15:13:16 -0400, R Stewart <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > 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
> about
> > 6:30.
> > 12 species
> >
> > Mourning Dove  4
> > Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2
> > Northern Goshawk  1     A brief visit next to feeder. At least enough
> time
> > to get a picture and a fly away view.  Only saw back . Long barred tail
> as
> > 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
> >
> > This report was generated automatically by eBird v3
> > (