Cooper Hawk or Sharp-skinned Hawk?

This Hawk landed on my backyard fence twice this week. I’m not sure if it’s a Cooper Hawk or Sharp-skinned Hawk  Any thoughts?

IMG_2421I looked up Hawks in my Sibley’s bird book. These are the difference between the two Hawks that I could find. Any more difference?

Cooper Hawk

  • Thin dark streaks on breast
  • Thicker legs than Sharp-skinned Hawk

Sharp-skinned Hawk

  • Coarse brown streaks on breast
  • Thinner legs than Cooper’s
  • Smaller than a Cooper Hawk

IMG_2427This hawk sat on my fence looking at our backyard then the next day it sat looking out at the field in back of our yard. It looked like a predator looking for its prey. I think its a Cooper Hawk.

IMG_2429Happy Birding!

Sharing with : Wild Bird Wednesday, Outdoor Wednesday 


10 thoughts on “Cooper Hawk or Sharp-skinned Hawk?

  1. That’s a beautiful bird, though I do not know much about them. I’ve been traveling in Alaska, and there are tons of different bird up here! Great place to travel if you get the chance (unless you already have?).


  2. I think he is a fine looking bird.
    We went on an Alaskan Cruise once but didn’t get to see a lot of the country. Beautiful there.
    here from Outdoor Wed.


  3. Nice images of your mystery yard visitor. I’ve only ever seen both species in flight so can’t really help. S-S is definitely smaller than Coopers but juveniles are very much alike. Hopefully someone will confirm ID for you.


  4. It is hard to tell them apart when seen individually. The Sharp-shinned appears to have a smaller head than the Cooper’s. There again, if you have nothing to compare it to, it’s difficult. A wonderful snap for Wild Bird Wednesday, though. How nice of it to drop by!


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