Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Blakeman has Another Tip and Gonzalez Discovers Mayhem

Let's have another look at Francois Portmann's comparison shot. John Blakeman has a wonderful tip we didn't hve previously about seperating the Coops from the Sharpies. I like this one alot~


Here's another difference between Cooper's hawks and sharp-shinned hawks, evident in your photos.

The tail feathers of Cooper's hawks, when at rest and viewed from the front, are at different lengths. All the tail feathers of sharpies are the same length, with none a bit shorter as seen with Cooper's.

If you can see the tail from the front when the birds are perched (which is usually only for a moment or two, as these accipiters are frenetic and seldom sit for long anywhere), look to see if any tail feathers are shorter than any others. If any are, it's a Cooper's. If they are all the same length, with tips in a terminal line, it's a sharpie.

That's a pretty sharp way to tell, when you get the front view.

--John Blakeman

See it? Gosh darn if if those Coop tail feathers aren't of different lengths!

Pat Gonzalez discovered this video of birds wrecking a National Geographic campsite. They are really rather good at it.

Donegal Browne

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