You guys all know how much I love to photograph raptors. I have posted many images of Red-tailed Hawks several times during the history of this blog. Today I will feature several photos of the Cooper’s Hawk and of the Sharp-shinned Hawk. These hawks are some of favorites along side of the red-tailed. In fact, the sign on the side of my car features a Cooper’s Hawk, as do my business cards.
The following photographs were taken over the past few years. There is much similarity between the Cooper’s Hawk and the Sharp-shinned Hawk. The difficulty in making the right ID has me hoping that I made the right choice in naming these.
On a side note, when I photographed the top image, I was at the bird blind at San Angelo State Park. Sitting next to me, co-incidentally, was Jim Miller, a fellow blogger and photographer from San Antonio, Texas. Somewhere in his files, he has a photo nearly identical to mine.
The following is an image that I believe to be a Sharp-shinned Hawk. You can see and understand the difficulty in identifying these two species. I am sure that there will be letters and controversy after I post this. It would have been easier if I had a photo of the both of them, sitting side by side. It would show that the Cooper’s Hawk is a good 5 inches taller than the Sharp-shinned Hawk.
I was, at first, reluctant to post the last, (above) photo. Simply because I had clipped the tail. But upon further consideration, I felt that it was too good an image to just discard it.
So, enjoy the photos. Click on any of them to see enlargements.