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Can't figure out what kind of hawk this is!


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#1 thecommunistotter

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:01 PM

Hello all! I created this account to help me and and my mom identify a lovely hawk we saw in our backyard today! This is the bird:
Posted Image
We are pretty sure it is a juvenile of one of these three birds: Cooper's Hawk, Red Shouldered Hawk, or Red Tailed Hawk. We live in New Jersey along the Delaware River, and while we technically live in the suburbs, our particular area is fairly heavily forested and slightly marshy, if the location matters. My mom said she heard it scream, which our books say is more of a red tailed hawk thing, and they are the more common hawk in our area, but we wanted to make sure and I figured you all would be a great help!
Here is the original not cropped version of the above image, if it helps with size comparison:
Posted Image
The playground equipment is fairly small, if that helps.
Thanks for your help!

#2 psweet

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:21 AM

This is a Cooper's Hawk. A Red-tail wouldn't have the strong streaks across the breast, and both a Red-tail and a Red-shouldered would have a much heavier build with a shorter tail.

#3 Joejr14

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:25 AM

Agree with Coopers.

#4 BarnSwallow

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:27 AM

I agree. Good job on narrowing it down! Cooper's hawks are most confused with sharp-shinned hawks, which are nearly identical.

#5 thecommunistotter

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:58 AM

Ah, thank you all very much.

#6 Sgtmac1

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 02:18 AM

Just curious, do you have bird feeders in that back yard. Bird feeders are considered winter habitat for Coopers and Sharp-shinned Hawks.Welcome to whatbird, Mac.
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#7 Pat B.

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:29 AM

Bird feeders are considered winter habitat for Coopers and Sharp-shinned Hawks.


Funny you should say that. I've gotten them in the winter before, but lately I've got one regularly in mid-summer (Cooper's). I'd guess the books say "winter feeders" because more people feed in the winter than year-round.

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