Mike DeGroot, of Solon Township, sent us this photo of a bird he saw in his backyard recently. “I spotted this bird closely watching over my squirrel feeder in my backyard on White Creek Avenue,” he wrote.
Mike thought it might be an American Kestrel Falcon. We thought it looked similar to a sharp-shinned hawk. We passed the photo on to our resident expert, Ranger Steve Mueller, and he identified it.
“It looks like an immature Cooper’s Hawk,” said Steve. “Adults have bands across the breast and immature’s have vertical tear-drop markings on the breast. It appears this one has the vertical markings.”
He added that the Sharp-shinned hawk looks nearly identical and can be difficult to separate from the Cooper’s Hawk. “The Sharp-shinned is not as common and is smaller than Cooper’s Hawk,” he explained. “The Cooper’s also has a rounded tail caused by the outer tail feathers being shorter. The tail feathers are equal in length on the Sharp-shinned,” he said.
Thanks, Mike, for sending us your photo, and to Steve for identifying it!
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