Cooper's Hawks looking like Sharpies

posted by Jerry Liguori at
on Saturday, April 19, 2014 

I got three emails yesterday regarding Sharp-shinned Hawk vs. Cooper's Hawk, with photos attached. I was waiting to post this collage ("CLICK" to enlarge) on the HawkWatch International blog, and will when it is up and running in May, but thought I would start blogging here again until then. ALL of the birds in this composite are Cooper's Hawks! Some look small headed, some look square tailed, others look stocky overall, etc. and that is why Cooper's Hawks (especially adult males) are sometimes identified as Sharp-shinned Hawks and always will be...because they look so darn similar!!!! I'll do another post of Sharp-shinned Hawks that look like Cooper's just so all of us are confused and questioning everything we ever knew once again. My main point is, be careful when identifying can be tricky, since any single photo can be misleading. Good thing I have multiple images of all of these birds to reference, and some were very close but made small for this purpose. Hope this helps.

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