Sharp-shinned Hawk


ACCIPITER STRIATUS
This hawk is similar to the Cooper’s Hawk, but is smaller, 10-14 inches long, with a wingspan of 20-27 inches. Females average 7 ounces and males 4 ounces, about robin size.





DESCRIPTION
Adults have blue-gray upperparts, with white underparts heavily barred with redbrown. Legs are yellow. Eyes (iris color) are scarlet. The tail is square at the end or slightly notched (the Cooper’s hawk has a rounded tail). Call is similar to the Cooper’s hawk, but higher—”kik kik kik.”

HABITAT
This hawk prefers large, remote woods.


NEST
Made of sticks and twigs, about 2 feet across, usually in a conifer 10- 60 feet high; or the birds may use a nest of a squirrel or crow or may nest in a rock crevice. They often select a new nest site each year.

EGGS
March-July, usually 4-5, white or pale blue, with brown blotches.

INCUBATION
Both adults share duties during incubation, about 34 days. The young fly a couple of weeks after hatching.


FEEDING HABITS
Diet consists mostly of small birds, including pigeons, and occasionally mice, moths, and insects.



NATURAL HISTORY
Although these jay-sized hawks are small, they will chase birds larger than themselves, including herons and screech owls. Their
main way of hunting is to pounce from trees onto prey. Life-span is at least 10 years.

STATUS
Uncommon permanent resident; common fall migrant. They can be seen throughout the year.