Feeder Watcher

 

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right! Oprah Winfrey

cardwhtcapenhA blustery snow-laden north wind is whipping across Ohio this morning driving the birds to the feeders.

 

 

 

sharpyfronttreeAlong with the regular seed eating visitors flocking in, we’ve been having a regular visit by Accipiter striatus, the Sharp-shinned hawk. We had to crack open the Birds of Ohio field guide to ID whether our feeder watcher was a Cooper’s or a Sharp-shinned. They look very similar. We decided, we hope correctly, that this is a sharp-shinned.

 

 

 

sharpyhawktreeOne of the main distinguishing features is whether the tail is rounded or squared. I captured this image of the bird with its tail spread out which gives a nice view of the squared tail.

 

 

 

 

sharpyhawkfrontviewBoth hawks are Accipiters, or “bird-hawks,” designed with the speed and maneuverability needed to catch smaller birds in flight. The sharpy is the smallest of the three North American Accipiters, the others being the Cooper’s and the Northern Goshawk. The Northern Goshawk is rarely seen in Ohio. If you look at the intensity of this birds stare, I would not want to be its target.

 


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