Sharp-shinned Hawk

Yestereday, despite the cold wind, Ann and I decided to venture out to the park again.  The sun was shining nicely, so it made up for the cool temps.  We stopped at the bird blind, but saw nothing that we haven’t seen the past few days.  But after deciding to take a short drive around the park, I spotted this Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus), sitting among the mesquites.  At least I think it is a Sharp-shinned.  They are easily confusedd with a Cooper’s Hawk.  But this one has the more rounder head of the Sharpie.  If anyone has a different opinion I would appreciate hearing.  I think it is one of my best images of this particular hawk.  You can click on it and see an enlargement.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Location:     San Angelo State Park
Observation date:     1/21/11
Number of species:     19

American White Pelican     30
Great Blue Heron     3
Black Vulture     30
Sharp-shinned Hawk     1
Red-tailed Hawk     1
American Kestrel     1
Greater Yellowlegs     20
Least Sandpiper     30
Ring-billed Gull     10
Mourning Dove     2
Black-crested Titmouse     1
Northern Mockingbird     20
Spotted Towhee     1
White-crowned Sparrow     24
Northern Cardinal     4
Pyrrhuloxia     4
Red-winged Blackbird     20
Western Meadowlark     2
House Finch     12

10 thoughts on “Sharp-shinned Hawk

  1. Hello Bob,
    Great shot of the hawk…..those hawks are pretty cool….and you manage to get the good shots of them. Persistence is no doubt your “magic bullet”. I am now reading more of your posts. Have gotten way behind on them…Hope you and Anne have a great day..JSH

  2. Yes, it is quite possible you could see a Bald Eagle where you live. Out here in San Angelo we don’t get to see them. I think we are about 250 miles west of you. I envy you that you may be able to see the eagles. Thanks for writing and subscribing to my blog. I hope I can show you some more of the birds and wildlife of our great state.

    Bob Zeller

  3. Just recently moved to the lake at Granbury. Im not an expert at identifying birds however I swear I saw an adult Bald Eagle yesterday. Could this be possible? Have there been any other sightings?

  4. Bob–I have both the Sharp-shinned and the Cooper’s chasing birds in my back yard and many times I have trouble determining whether Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned. My first impression is Cooper’s because the tail looks rounded to me. Also the head gives me the “feeling” of a Cooper’s but your call of a Sharp-shinned sure makes me think maybe not a Cooper’s. There is a website of interest on comparing Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned.

    Nonetheless, really good picture–


    • I, too, considered it to be a Cooper’s. But in the other images I got, some were in profile, the head was more rounded than the Cooper’s. The Cooper’s that I have seen, the head has a more flatter look. Also, I was thinking that the markings on the breast were more bolder that some Cooper’s. But, then again, there are so many variations in the two of them, it can be mind boggling. 🙂

      Looking forward to seeing you guys soon.


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