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mysterious urban raptors


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#1 Blue

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 01:26 PM

A group of five have moved into our heavily wooded urban walk street in Venice, CA. They appear to be two adults and three juveniles. They are extremely active, social and vocal, eat rats, mice, small birds. The mourning doves we hear singing all day long have completely disappeared since their arrival. Although quite large - maybe 24 inches high - I saw one intimidated by an adult squirrel. I identified them Cooper's hawks by the recorded call on the site, but feel uncertain. Photo has been posted.

#2 admin

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 05:30 PM

The Cooper's Hawk is 14 to 21 inches long so unless you are off on the size, that would be too small. The Red-shoulder's Hawk is larger, 17 to 24 inches. The Red-tailed Hawk is also about the same size. Here are all three side by side. You can read all three Overviews to learn the identifying marks and get a better idea of what it might be. Cooper has Reddish bars across *** and belly., Dark gray or black crown and white undertail. Red-shouldered has Rust colored on the body and wing linings. Cooper has a rounded tail while the other two have a squared tail.

#3 David Lukas

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 05:31 PM

Cooper's Hawks and Sharp-shinned Hawks are so similar that it would take a really great photo to make a definitive identification. It'd be hard to make a decision from the photo alone, but your description sounds really good for a Cooper's Hawk.

Sharp-shinned Hawks are 10-14 inches long and only eat small songbirds. It seems that your birds are much larger and eating larger items which is a strong clue that they're Cooper's Hawks. You mention their vocalizations, but another great clue is that Cooper's Hawks commonly nest in urban areas!

What a wonderful experience to watch these birds on a daily basis, we hope you have some great observations!

David Lukas and Simone Whitecloud



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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:38 PM

/forums/emoticons/emotion-19.gif Dear Blue:

I noticed a huge number of hits coming from the LA Times.com Outdoors web site today. I found an atricle there called Just click to identfiy that mystery bird by Susan Dworski.

Got to admit I was thrilled, as I am sure David and Simone are.

I can only hypothesize but is there a connection between this post and the article?

If so THANK YOU /forums/emoticons/emotion-4.gif Its really a exciting and gratifying to see our site mentioned.

Sincerely,

Mitch






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