This Sharp-shinned Hawk was trying to be inconspicuous while hanging out near the bird feeders. As usual, the songbirds were nowhere to be seen as long as this guy was around. Some of the field marks for distinguishing Sharp-shinned Hawks from Cooper’s (shape of the head, capped appearance of Cooper’s vs. the uniform crown and nape on Sharp-shinned, shape of the tail, and thickness of legs) are not visible in this photo. A hawk bander recently shared another clue for this species; Sharp-shins have a “bug-eyed” look to them, while Cooper’s Hawks always look angry. These may seem to be subjective terms, but the shape of the head and position of the eye on the head does give each species a unique expression.
All photos © John Rakestraw unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.