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Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

Location - Washoe Valley, NV

Using a measurement of the fence post for comparison the bird measures 25.9 cm in length. The pole is 11 cm in diameter. Based on this measurement I believe this is a first year male Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Update - 1-Dec-2008
I have received multiple comments regarding the ID of this bird. I will try and summarize the comments. Several people felt that measuring the bird this way could underestimate the length of the bird since the bird is not at a perfect angle while facing the camera and I am unable to measure the bird from the tip of the beak to the tip of the tail. However, even adding a couple centimeters to the above measurement still keeps this bird's length much lower than a Coopers Hawk (39-45cm).

While tail shape and the amount of white on the tip of the tail can be helpful. They can also be deceiving since those field marks are based on birds in pristine condition.

Several others also commented on the streaks on the ventral side. The course, bold streaks that extend further down the ventrum are much more typical of a Sharpie.

Head and beak shape and size. Several people also commented that the relatively small head and small bill are more typical of a Sharpie.

Leg thickness. The legs on this bird are pretty fine and more typical of the Sharpie. For a comparison look at this probable Coopers Hawk.

It is not possible to sex the bird based on these photos.

Lastly, many commented that it is very difficult and can be impossible to definitively ID juvenile accipiters.


Sharp-shinned Hawk


Sharp-shinned Hawk


Sharp-shinned Hawk

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