Cooper's Hawk

Accipiter cooperii

Summary 4

The Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) is a medium-sized hawk that is blue-gray above and streaked rusty-red below with long banded tails, yellow legs, and small, hooked beaks. Like most species of raptors, females are larger than males. While they are generally silent, they do make alarm calls. You can hear examples here:

Similar speciesSharp-shinned Hawk Sharp-shinned Hawks have a squared-off tail (the Cooper’s Hawk has a rounded tail), and is slightly smaller.

Red-Shouldered Hawk Superficially may look alike but the red-shouldered hawk is larger and as a buteo, has longer wings and a shorter, more fan-shaped tail.

Where on Campus? 5

Mostly seen along edges of campus where and where there are tall trees.

Habitat 5

Historically a forest species, but they have adapted well to human altered landscapes and are common in cities as well.

Life History 5

Nesting At least seasonally monogamous, males will engage in courting displays to females and wait to be accepted. Once accepted, they build the nest of sticks and bark in the crotch of a tree (occasionally on the ground). They produce 1 brood/year. Chicks are semialtricial.

FoodThe Cooper’s Hawk is a ‘bird hawk’ capable of hunting birds from the air, and frequently enters yards to take small songbirds from feeders. They also hunt small mammals.

Distribution 5

Southern Canada to Northern Mexico

Migration 5

Ours are likely residents.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Chris Christner, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  2. (c) Wayne Dumbleton, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  3. Calibas, no known copyright restrictions (public domain),
  4. Adapted by gillian360 from a work by (c) Unknown, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  5. (c) gillian360, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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