Fink Family Farm Bird List

Fink Family Farm Bird List

The only list I faithfully keep is a list of all the birds seen on our farm since we moved here in 1977. I thought it would be fun to ad...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cooper's or Red-shouldered???

 I called it a Cooper's Hawk when I saw it today on our Grand Ronde Raptor Run. But now that I've seen the photo, I think it is a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk because of the vertical streaks on upper breast and horizontal streaks on lower. But the tail banding has wide white bands and I thought they were narrow on RSHA? Also the wings look short compared to the tail (near as I can tell) which would make it an accipiter. Was I right in the first place? I am so confused!

photo cropped and lightened below...

Thanks to Hendrik Herlyn for this response: I think your initial impression was correct - this is an immature Cooper's Hawk. The tail is too long for Red-shouldered, which also doesn't have so many bars (and you are right, it would have narrower white bands). The underside looks too evenly streaked for a RSHA, and the head pattern and color is very typical for a young Cooper's.

And Wayne Hoffman for this: You were right the first time - Cooper's Hawk.  In addition to the characters you mentioned, the head is relatively small.  The underparts pattern does look sort of like a Red-shouldered with the bibbed chest look and paler belly, but is far paler (fewer streaks) them most young Red-shoulders.


  1. Yes, you were right in the first place. It IS pretty reddish in front, which seems a bit odd, and fairly heavy streaking for Coop, but definitely accipiter w/long tail (w/wide pale bands) and short wings, and Coop vs Sharpy because you can see the outer tail feathers (the ones on our side from this view) that are nicely stacked w/the outer ones noticeably shorter than the inner (behind) ones.

  2. Can't add much to what others have said. On Red-shouldered Hawks of all ages, the light bands are noticeably narrower than the dark bands. On Accipiters the dark and light bands are of approximately equal width.