Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk was first described by French naturalist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1828. It is a member of the goshawk genus Accipiter. This bird was named after the naturalist William Cooper, one of the founders of the New York Lyceum of Natural History in New York. Other common names; Big Blue Darter, Chicken Hawk, Hen Hawk, Mexican Hawk, Quail Hawk, Striker and Swift Hawk.

Picture of the Cooper's Hawk has been licensed under a GFDL
Permission: GNU Free Documentation License

The Cooper's Hawk is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) is a medium-sized hawk native to the North American continent and found from Canada to Mexico. As in many birds of prey, the male is smaller than the female. The birds found east of the Mississippi River tend to be larger on average than the birds found to the west. More

* The oldest known Cooper's Hawk was 20 years, 4 months old. Habitat - Forest Cooper’s Hawks are forest and woodland birds, but our leafy suburbs seem nearly as good. These lanky hawks are a regular sight in parks, quiet neighborhoods, over fields, at backyard feeders, and even along busy streets if there are trees around. More

Adult Sharp-shinned Hawks and Cooper's Hawks have dark gray backs, rusty-barring on the breast, and red eyes. Similar in size to a jay or dove (avg. 10-14" long. Female is larger and can appear nearly as large as a male Cooper's Hawk. Tip of long tail is typically square, showing prominent corners. The outer tail feathers are usually the longest (or nearly so). Note: tail tip of soaring bird appears rounded. More

Cooper's Hawk - What Is a Cooper's Hawk * Most Popular * Latest Articles Add to: * iGoogle * My Yahoo! * RSS * Advertising Info * News & Events * Work at About * SiteMap * All Topics More

The Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks offer a marvelous example of parallel evolution. The adults of each are extremely similar, both with red eyes, gray upperparts, finely rusty-banded underparts, and a broadly gray-banded tail. The immatures likewise are closely similar, with yellow eyes, brown upperparts, heavily brown-streaked underparts on a whitish background, and the tail banded in shades of brown. Because of the two species' similarity in plumage, differences of size and shape are the most useful features in identification. More

The Cooper's Hawk, is a crow sized accipiter very similar to the smaller, robin or pigeon sized Sharp-shinned Hawk. It was named by Charles Bonaparte in 1828 after William Cooper, who collected the specimens that were used to describe the species. A bird of mixed forests and open woodlands, they are found across the USA, Mexico and southern Canada through Central America to Costa Rica. More

The Cooper's Hawk is often confused with the Sharp-shinned Hawk. They have similar markings but the Sharp-shinned Hawk is smaller and has a squared tail. The Cooper's Hawk's tail is rounded. The tail and the size are the only truly distinctive features between the two. Don't Cross Me! Description - The Cooper's Hawk is a medium-sized hawk fifteen to nineteen inches in length with a wingspan of two to three feet. More

the Cooper's Hawk has a very large range, estimated globally at 8,400,000 square kilometers. It is native to North America, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala and has been spotted in Bermuda. This bird prefers forest and shrubland areas and can also reside in urban areas or rural gardens. It has an estimated population of between 100,000 and 1,000,000 individuals. Because there are no signs of significant population decline, this bird does not qualify for inclusion on the IUCN Red List. More

Description: The Cooper's hawk is a short-winged, long-tailed forest-dwelling raptor. Cooper's hawks closely resemble the smaller sharp-shinned hawk, but can be distinguished by the curved tip of the tail with broad white terminal band compared to the squared tip on the tail of the sharp-shinned hawk. Cooper's hawks have a larger, squared head emphasized by its tendency to raise its hackles. The head projects far beyond wrists on a gliding bird, and they have five notched primaries. More

North American RangeThe Cooper's Hawk is the most widespread of the three North American accipiters. Females are up to one third larger than males, one of the largest sexual dimorphism size differences of any hawk. Adults have solid gray upperparts, barred with reddish-brown. Their long tails are barred gray and black, rounded at the ends, with a white band at the tips. Their eyes are red. Immature birds are brown above with brown streaking on their white underparts; they have yellow eyes. More

The Cooper's Hawk is from 14 to 21 inches long, with a wingspan of from 27 to 36 inches. The male, smaller than the female, is about the same size as the female Sharp-shinned Hawk. Color Pattern: Adults are steely blue-gray above with warm reddish bars on the underparts and thick dark bands on the tail. More

The beautiful and baleful Cooper's hawk is an accipiter, one of three related species found in the U.S. that share many traits. Like the smaller sharp-shinned hawk and the much larger goshawk, the Cooper's hawk is classified by ornithologists as belonging to the genus Accipiter. Worldwide there are approximately 50 species in the genus. North America is home to the three species mentioned above. Accipiters are characterized by relatively short, rounded wings, a long, rudderlike tail and long legs. More

* Cooper's Hawk - What Is a Cooper's Hawk * Protect Backyard Birds From Hawks - How to Discourage Backyard Hawks * Sharp-Shinned Hawk - What Is a Sharp-Shinned Hawk * Accipiter More

Cooper's Hawk at nest (detail) photo by Rick Kline Cooper's Hawk breeding range Winter: In southern part of range, may be resident year round, but northerly populations are more migratory. Partial migration may exist in this species, with males remaining on or near their territories year-round, and females and younger birds migrating as far south as Florida, Mexico, and Central America. Breeding habitat Coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forests. More

The Cooper's Hawk appears long-necked in flight and has been described by birdwatchers as looking like a "flying cross". The Cooper’s Hawk is seen mostly flying with quick, consecutive wing beats and a short glide, though they may also soar. Sharp-shinned vs. Cooper's Hawk Cooper's Hawk Distribution / Range: Their breeding range extends from southern Canada to northern Mexico. More

The flight of the Cooper's Hawk is rapid, protracted, and even. It is performed at a short height above the ground or through the forest. It passes along in a silent gliding manner, with a swiftness even superior to that of the Wild Pigeon (Columba migratoria), seldom deviating from a straightforward course, unless to seize and secure its prey. More

If you have any photos of Cooper's Hawks that you would like to contribute, please e-mail them to us with a caption and the photographer's name (but be aware that we must be selective of which photos we include because of space limitations for our website). More

Cooper's hawks, especially juveniles, are similar in appearance to Northern goshawks, but are generally smaller with longer tails and less distinct chest-streaks. Sharp-skinned hawks are generally smaller with square-ended tails and shorter necks. Breeding pairs build nests high and close to the trunk in large trees in forested areas and usually lay a clutch of 3 to 6 pale blue-green eggs which incubate for a little over a month. More

Cooper's Hawk Illustration Copyright More

Cooper's hawks build a stick nest high in the middle of a deciduous tree, usually in the crotch, where it lays from two to five eggs. Cooper's hawks are known to return to the same area to nest year after year, although recent studies have shown that individual birds change mates and nest sites frequently in succeeding years. FEEDING: Known as a predator of birds, the Cooper's hawk also feeds on mammals, particularly squirrels and chipmunks. More

This was an immature female Cooper's Hawk perched high up in the Pink Cedar tree in the UCLA Botanical Garden. Photo taken by Jason Finley through Bobby Walsh's spotting scope. 2/26/05 She was sitting in the tree with a flock of Yellow-chevroned Parakeets who apparently eventually agitated her enough to make her leave! A juvenile Cooper's Hawk perched high up in a Eucalyptus tree in the UCLA Botanical Garden. More

Picture of Accipiter cooperii above has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.
Original source: Jeff Whitlock
Author: Jeff Whitlock
Permission: Some rights reserved
Order : Falconiformes
Family : Accipitridae
Genus : Accipiter
Species : cooperii
Authority : (Bonaparte, 1828)