Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cooper's hawk ~ 01/18/14 ~ Tidelands Park

I'd really like to be able to ID all the local hawks, but until I'm willing to carry around binoculars and/or a better, larger camera, my learning is slow going.  So, after much comparing of photos and finding this great Project FeederWatch page, I've concluded what I have here is a Cooper's hawk, not a sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus).  I focused on its capped (vs. hooded) head and tubular body shape.


Cindy said...

I struggle with those two and I usually carry binocs outside and often a camera. If I just saw each of them more frequently, I think I would get it but I don't see them that often and usually they take off as soon as I appear so it is a quick glance. Some birds are destined to be mysteries and our challenges.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Much sympathy as regards raptor ID.

Recently, I spent ages staring at a distant small dot on a fence post that was out of reach of bins (8x42) and camera (300mm lens). After about half an hour, a rainbow appeared. In the few seconds it took to capture the image on my phone and my attention was diverted, the bird disappeared, so I didn't even have the opportunity to guess on its identity using flight or silhouette. I think they have a dark sense of humour.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Oh, Cindy, so even if I gear up, I'll still have difficulty? A new camera will be inevitable, but I'd still like to figure out a way to carry bins in a comfortable-to-me way. Serious birders always look so weighted down with equipment. Have you seen those chintzy binocular glasses?

Graeme, isn't it in the raptors' best interest to be stealthy in order to eat? Like with butterflies, I'm hoping I'll be able to learn to recognize flight behavior for ID.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Yeah, I guess so, but sometimes missed IDs just hurt. I should lighten up, in mood AND optical baggage :o)

Butterflies? By flight? Good luck with that. But it will be an awesome skill!

Jeannette said...

And look at the tree it is sitting in! Each limb a mind of its own!

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Graeme, I'm not kidding about being able to ID butterflies based on where and how they fly. I'm hoping with some raptors, it's similar.

Jeannette, there are so many spp. of eucalyptus, that I don't even try to ID them. I know there's some hate for them as being non-native, but I like them and so do the monarchs.