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Sharpie on week three of Project FeederWatch

Looking out the window I saw no birds. Then I noticed a beautiful juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk perched on the brush pile, about 15 feet from my watch window. Sharpies are well-known predators of small birds, so what better place to hang out than a Project FeederWatch station? Their success rate at catching birds is quite low however and I did not see any action.

Adult Sharpies have a blue-gray back, reddish bars on the breast, and red eyes but the juveniles are brown overall with yellow eyes. With a close-up look at a perching bird I was surprised at how small it was. Males are quite a bit smaller than females and I wondered if this was a male.

Both adults and juveniles can be difficult to distinguish from the Coopers Hawk which is very similar in coloration. In flight, notice the Cooper’s rounded tail compared to the squarish tail of the Sharp-shinned.

This week’s tally – 18 species!

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