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Sharpie vs. Coopers: Northern Utah

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Old Wednesday 21st February 2018, 23:46   #1
UtahnBirder
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Sharpie vs. Coopers: Northern Utah

Taken today in my backyard.

I'm pretty sure this is a Sharpie but I'm new to IDing these birds so I wanted to make sure.

https://imgur.com/eaIDh3G
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 01:33   #2
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Yes, Sharp-shinned Hawk.
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 12:29   #3
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Looks good for a Sharpie.
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 13:24   #4
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What can be seen here that rules out Cooper's?


A
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 14:51   #5
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What species of pine tree is it in? Seems like a small bird compared to the needle length. Other than that, my answer to Andy is: nothing.

Also, you can *maybe* see the nape well enough to conclude that it looks better for Sharpie than Cooper, but I wouldn't have any confidence in that.
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 15:00   #6
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
What can be seen here that rules out Cooper's?


A
Agree with nartreb that there's next to nothing to definitively prove that it's not Cooper's. However, there's something about the facial "expression" (rather cuter, less intense than Cooper's) that screams Sharp-shinned to me.
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 15:02   #7
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Agree with nartreb that there's next to nothing to definitively prove that it's not Cooper's. However, there's something about the facial "expression" (rather cuter, less intense than Cooper's) that screams Sharp-shinned to me.
I can see where you're coming from, but at this angle? You're a bolder IDer than I.
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 15:31   #8
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Agree with others: not identifiable from the photo,
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 15:59   #9
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What can be seen here that rules out Cooper's?


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What can be seen here that makes it a Cooper's?

OP saw it in real life. He is "pretty sure" it is a Sharp-shin.
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 16:26   #10
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What can be seen here that makes it a Cooper's?

OP saw it in real life. He is "pretty sure" it is a Sharp-shin.
He also said he's "new to" IDing them, and this is a particularly difficult species pair to distinguish. We don't know on what basis he is "pretty sure".
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 17:40   #11
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What can be seen here that makes it a Cooper's?

OP saw it in real life. He is "pretty sure" it is a Sharp-shin.
I didn't say it looked like Cooper's or a Sharpie, it's a hard pair to distinguish and you usually need to see the tail and legs and get a better dea of the bulk which you can't from this shot.

Quite simply put, there is nothing in this shot that will rule either species in or out.


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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 18:13   #12
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This is about as easy as it gets - total Sharpie here. The small, rounded head with bug-eyed appearance is enough.
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 18:18   #13
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This is about as easy as it gets - total Sharpie here. The small, rounded head with bug-eyed appearance is enough.
If you say so
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 20:03   #14
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This is about as easy as it gets - total Sharpie here. The small, rounded head with bug-eyed appearance is enough.
No it isn’t, not nearly enough
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 20:41   #15
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How about that it looks like one? It has a small round head and small beak like this one pictured here:

http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/r...rpshinned.html

Or here:

http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/r...arch2005c.html

And white spots like them too.
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 21:12   #16
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How about that it looks like one? It has a small round head and small beak like this one pictured here:

http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/r...rpshinned.html

Or here:

http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/r...arch2005c.html

And white spots like them too.
“General impression of size and shape” (of just the head no less!) enough for a positive no-nonsense ID of this notoriously difficult species? Who would have thunk it? Makes one want to go back to the scores of earlier Coop vs Sharpie threads and set everybody straight. . ..
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 22:29   #17
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Show me a Cooper's (where we can see the tail, feet, and/or nape) with that small and round of a head with the large, round eyes set near the middle, and that dark of a face.
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 23:19   #18
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“General impression of size and shape” (of just the head no less!) enough for a positive no-nonsense ID of this notoriously difficult species? Who would have thunk it? Makes one want to go back to the scores of earlier Coop vs Sharpie threads and set everybody straight. . ..
Sometimes GISS will work and sometimes not. The pictures gave very little to work with here. There was the OPs opinion and he had seen the bird. And there was my memory of similar pictures. But without the pictures no one would have believed me.

http://www.10000birds.com/the-future...es-is-giss.htm

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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 00:09   #19
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Show me a Cooper's (where we can see the tail, feet, and/or nape) with that small and round of a head with the large, round eyes set near the middle, and that dark of a face.
Ok, you're sticking to your claim that there's enough difference between an adult female Sharpie and adult male Coop to reliably discriminate between them on head shape & eye position alone. In my experience--and I'm talking field experience here, not looking-at-photos experience--head and eye shape & eye positioning can vary markedly with the angle and emotional state of the bird and thus provide a solid basis for positive ID only in conjunction with other field marks.
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Last edited by fugl : Friday 23rd February 2018 at 00:13. Reason: Subject-verb agreement
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 00:38   #20
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Like most everyone this is a Sharpie to me. The small head, dark hooded look ( vs capped look of a Coopers) and what looks like a dark nape (given what can be seen) all speak Sharpie.
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 07:15   #21
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This sparked much more of a debate than I thought it would--I thought I had a pretty clear picture! My girlfriend is the photographer; I will get more pictures from her in the morning that will hopefully help.

It seems like some people may be factoring my own impression too heavily--I've only ever seen a single Cooper's and no Sharpies at all. My impression is based solely on my own understanding of the nape and head shape differences between the species. (And that understanding comes pretty much exclusively from what Sibley has to say about it)

I will also try and figure it what species the tree in when the sun rises. This is just a rental house and I'm no arborist, so I can't tell you off the top of my head.
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 12:27   #22
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Ok, you're sticking to your claim that there's enough difference between an adult female Sharpie and adult male Coop to reliably discriminate between them on head shape & eye position alone. In my experience--and I'm talking field experience here, not looking-at-photos experience--head and eye shape & eye positioning can vary markedly with the angle and emotional state of the bird and thus provide a solid basis for positive ID only in conjunction with other field marks.
Female Sharpie vs. male Cooper's can be difficult with immature birds. But an adult male Cooper's would have gray cheeks...right? (and this should be a mature adult because of the red eyes)
I think IDing Sharp-shins and Cooper's without photos and just with bins in the field is dangerous. I have a hard time trusting any report of one of the two (and immature Goshawks) without a photo.
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 17:34   #23
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Here's an entire album of pictures. Do any field marks in this album help? Let me know what your thought process is.

edited to include the actual link: https://imgur.com/a/OuaKM
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 17:41   #24
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In the shots that show the tail, you can see that the tail feathers are all the same length, which confirms that this is a Sharp-shinned Hawk.
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 18:28   #25
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In the shots that show the tail, you can see that the tail feathers are all the same length, which confirms that this is a Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Agreed, the tail shots provide the additional evidence needed to move the bird from the “probable” Sharpie column to the “virtually certain ”. It’s been a long ride but we got there in the end. . ..
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Last edited by fugl : Friday 23rd February 2018 at 22:20.
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