Sunday, November 11, 2012

Accipiters in the 'hood

  Accipiters are long tailed hawks that often chase down and eat smaller birds.  In North America they come in three varieties.   The Northern Goshawk (from the Old English 'Goose Hawk') is the largest and least likely to be seen in southeast Michigan.  Locally the small and medium versions of the accipiter genus are the Sharp-shinned and  Cooper's  respectively.   In my yard the multitude of House Sparrows that raid my feeders serve as a kind of bait pile for the local Coops.  Yesterday two accipiters spent some time eyeing the sparrows.  The one perched on the utility pole is an adult Cooper's.  The second bird in the lower two photos is an immature.....Sharpie? 

1 comment:

  1. Mark- it appears the hawk is a sharpie since the hawk has a waist, This is the area that tapers from the base of the body to the base of the tail. Goshawks do not have a waist. Since the goshawk has zero waist, the base of the tail is very wide compared to a Coop's or a Sharpie. Please heed- My ebook "The man who saw too many goshawks" is available from The best- Nelson Briefer-