I checked the photo and my recollections against 'Hawks in Flight', by Dunne/Sibley/Dutton. Most of what I saw yesterday (and what can be seen in photo) points to immature Coopers: large size, flight pattern (slowish beats, long glides), long straight wings, pale belly and fluffy white undertail coverts, tail slightly rounded (when not fanned) with distinct white terminal band.
The only thing that doesn't quite fit is the smallish-looking head, which we also noticed yesterday. But in the photo it looks like the bird is looking down (at us and/or possible prey), which may make it look shorter.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Karen Wosilait <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 8:57 PM
Subject: today's field trip
To: John Besser <[log in to unmask]
>, [log in to unmask]
, Lori Turner <[log in to unmask]
>, Kevin Wehner <[log in to unmask]
I got a fuzzy shot of what we thought might have been a Cooper's after we saw the pelicans but before we saw the sparrows. I posted it online on a bird ID group on Flickr and got some different possibilities. Here's a link to the photo and discussion:
It would be interesting to hear your impressions. From what I can tell on the checklist for EBCA, sharpie and goshawk have both been seen, but neither is common.
All the best,