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Hi John and Karen,

Here’s my two cents on the mystery accipiter.

 

I think you have a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

 

All three accipiter species can have white eyebrow so it isn’t helpful.  

 

Northern Goshawk is heavily tear drop spotted below and well onto the belly and under-tail covert. This bird appears not to have much spotting below the belly which mostly eliminate the Northern Goshawk.

 

The overall shape is long winged and short tailed in appearance which is a Sharp-shinned character, whereas a Cooper’s would look short-winged and long tailed.

 

The blurry look to the streaking is more Sharp-shinned, Cooper’s would likely show much sharper and finer streaking. I think it would be noticeable even in this blurry photo.

 

The tail look more rounded because it is spread a little. You can see the white tips are essentially on the same arc of the tail feathers. On a graduated tail (outside feathers shorter than inside tail feathers), as in the Cooper’s, there would be a stair-step effect of white tip touching on the dark of the next inside feather.

 

The dark tail barring is much smaller than the light bars which is a sharp-shinned character, it would be about equal width light and dark tail barring on a Cooper’s.  

 

The small head is Sharp-shinned barely extended beyond the elbow of the wing. Cooper’s would stick out much farther.

 

Brad

  

                                                     

From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Besser
Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2013 12:57 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Fwd: Eag;e Bluffs Accipiter -- possible NOGO?

I got one reply off-list who suggested immature Northern Goshawk, based on 'proportions, bulk, and prominent eye stripe'. 

 

I didn't even consider this possibility at first. After receiving this message, I checked eBird, which showed 3 fall MO sightings in last ten years -- including one FRIDAY in KC!

 

After a little more research, I think I can agree about proportions and apparent eye stripe, but bird seems to have too little barring on belly and undertail coverts. 

 

On balance I still think Coopers, but I'd like to hear other opinions!

 

John

 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Besser <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 8:01 AM
Subject: Eag;e Bluffs Accipiter
To: [log in to unmask]

More info (and a photo) of our uncertain Accipiter.

 

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.

 

- John Besser

Columbia MO

 

---------- 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:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99845460@N07/10368175396/

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,

Karen



 

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John Besser

Columbia MO


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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
Archives / Subscription options / ASM Website / Email the list owners

ABA Birding Code of Ethics

ASM Spring Meeting: May 2-4, 2014 in Jefferson City Details and Online Registration