Today’s sharp-shinned visitor

Heard the small birds all squawking, so I looked out the window to see what had ruffled them. Saw this beauty perched in the dogwood.

hawk in dogwood

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

(I zoomed in as much as I could with my camera, then cropped the pictures in iPhoto to try to get what passes for close-ups here.)

The hawk flew from the dogwood to the maple, and I managed to catch a rather blurry picture of it in flight.

hawk taking flight

Flying from one tree to the next.

Then I went to the door to try to get a closer picture of it in the maple, and of course it moved — but it was back in the dogwood when I came back inside, so I got another picture of it perched.

accipiter profile

Isn’t that a regal pose?

Next, of course, I started poring through my Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. Juvenile red-shouldered hawk? Definitely not a broad-winged or a red-tailed hawk. Finally, I found the accipiters. Based on the head shape, I think it’s a sharp-shinned rather than a Cooper’s hawk, but I’m willing to hear arguments either way. For both, Sibley’s says, “Often hunts around houses and birdfeeders,” which is certainly what this one was doing!

. . . and now, back to the proofreading!

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10 Comments

  1. Beautiful :). Another good way to ID birds is WhatBird.com. You might see if any of the comparison shots match better. Cooper’s Hawks are usually browns rather than blue-grey, but it could be breeding plumage.

    • Thanks for the link. Sibley showed both colors. Now if I just had a pair side by side so I could compare their legs! 😉

  2. Ashe Elton Parker

    Lovely!

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