Cooper’s Hawk on Pole

Resting on top of a pole on the side of the Virginia Street Extension, at the border of the Berkeley Meadow, this young Cooper’s Hawk had a good view of the surroundings but saw nothing of interest at the moment.

I wrote some details about these raptors on October 20, when I saw one of them at the southern edge of the Burrowing Owl preserve.

However, as a commenter on the YouTube video pointed out, this may very well be a Sharp-shinned Hawk, not a Cooper’s. It’s very hard to tell them apart, particularly as juveniles. My guess is based on the yellow eyes, where a Sharp-shinned juvenile has orange eyes. The forward position of the eyes also suggests Cooper’s. On the other hand, the square-ish end of the long tail suggests Sharp-shinned, while the Cooper’s are more rounded. The Cornell bird lab website says telling these two species apart makes for “famously tricky identifications.” I’m opening comments on this post.

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