Cooper’s Hawk

May 2014 – Champoeg State Park, Oregon
This appears to be a Cooper’s Hawk, perhaps a year old – still with juvenile plumage. These hawks are a bit hard to identify, but this one was surely too big to be the similar Sharp-shinned Hawk. Cooper’s Hawks are Accipiters, whose primary prey are other birds. They are quick and nimble hunters, swooping through the trees to snag their prey.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk


2003 – Hillsboro, Oregon
I’m fairly certain this is a Cooper’s Hawk… a female, possibly young male? The Sharp-shinned hawk looks similar, but is a bit smaller. So, without much else to go on, I’m going by size… even though there isn’t ┬ámuch to get a good scale on. If you have any other opinions, I’d love to hear them. Anyway, it was a fun little encounter – it just hung out on the lawn for a bit, then flew off.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

Roadside Hawk

Roadside Hawk

Roadside Hawk

February 2013 – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Yup, that’s the official name of this bird… To me, it’s like calling a sparrow “Brown Bird” or something. But, I will admit… I got this photo along the side of a road. So, I suppose there’s something to it.

Yellow-headed Caracara

Yellow-headed Caracara

Yellow-headed Caracara

February 2013 – Osa Peninsula

I know what you’re thinking… this bird does not have a yellow head. But, it’s a youngster… its plumage changes after the 2nd year. I do have other shots of the adult bird, but I like this one better with the palms… This was on Carate Beach.

Mangrove Black-Hawk

Mangrove Black-Hawk

Mangrove Black-Hawk

February 2013 – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

These were fairly common in the Carate Beach area… They look like some other Black-Hawk species, but I had to do a bit of detective work to arrive at this identification… just because they’re called a “Mangrove” Black-Hawk, doesn’t mean there needs to be a mangrove forest nearby…

Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara

February 2013 – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

One of those birds I always considered so rare, but simply because they live in another place. In their own habitat, they’re not rare at all… rather a very visible large bird.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

September 2012 – Jackson Bottom, Hillsboro, OR

It took a bit of deduction to figure out this was a young Sharp-shinned Hawk. Note the fat brown streaks on the chest… the similar Cooper’s Hawk has finer streaking. The Northern Harrier has similar streaking, but is much larger, and has more of a face outline. It would be really helpful, of course, if these birds would just land on a ruler so I could tell what size they were!