the-eldest-woman-on:So, terrible pictures, because I’ve always…


So, terrible pictures, because I’ve always had the dorky hell hound with me, and the hawk freezes when he sees us, and I don’t want to frighten him away from their meal. But this is my urban raptor friend.

Wait; I just assumed it was the same bird, is this two birds in the same neighborhood? lies ?

Ooh, awesome!

I’m thinking these are two different birds. The top two images (in the dirt) look like adult plumage, while the bottom two (on the sidewalk) look like immature (first-year) plumage.

Both birds are accipiters, either Sharp-shinned Hawk or Cooper’s Hawk. My guess (maybe 60/40 on the confidence level?) is that they’re both Sharp-shinned. The relatively rounded head in the upper (adult) bird (which produces a “surprised” expression, as opposed to the Cooper’s “harsher” expression, with its Angry Bird eyebrows), and the appearance of what looks like a squared-off, rather than rounded, tail in the lower (juvenile) bird are what push me in the Sharp-shinned direction.

I’m not very expert on these particular birds, though. I’d really want to see them fly, and look for the Cooper’s head projection vs. the Sharp-shinned’s more-forward-sweeping wings and smaller apparent head size. And again, study their head patterns and tails, and their overall size, and maybe consult eBird on the relative frequency of sightings of the two species in the neighborhood.

Thank you so much for sharing the photos!

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