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Backyard Hawk in Michigan

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Old Sunday 23rd September 2018, 23:57   #1
sirijay
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Backyard Hawk in Michigan

This bird flew in to my kitchen when it missed catching a squirrel on a nearby tree. Both lived to tell the tale -- but I am wondering whether this is a Cooper's or Sharp-shinned? Very much appreciate your help.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 00:01   #2
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Looks like a Cooper's for me. Nice image too.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 00:12   #3
fugl
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Goshawk, I would say, with the irregular tail banding and white eyebrow streak.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 00:16   #4
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Cooper's for me - it just doesn't have the massive bulk of a Gos
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 00:37   #5
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Agree with Cooper's Hawk.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 01:13   #6
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Agree with Goshawk. Lightly marked juvenile. Pale supercilium. Irregular dark tail bands. Large Tarsii and long left talons almost surround the branch.

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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 01:38   #7
stevethehydra
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I can't see this as a Goshawk, unless the North American subspecies is much lighter in build than the European. Just not bulky enough, legs and tail too long in relation to size of the body. Cooper's "feels" much better in terms of jizz/structure.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 02:12   #8
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I am seeing a Cooper's Hawk here. As others have said the bulk of a Goshawk just isn't there. Also juvie Cooper's(and even some Sharpies) can give the impression of an white eyeline, but it would be much more prominent in a Goshawk. Also I would expect much heavier streaking all the way up from chest to head on a Goshawk and they usually have streaking on the undertail coverts as well
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 03:11   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethehydra View Post
I can't see this as a Goshawk, unless the North American subspecies is much lighter in build than the European. Just not bulky enough, legs and tail too long in relation to size of the body. Cooper's "feels" much better in terms of jizz/structure.
It's more a matter of posture than "structure", I would say, the hawk being stretched-out, nervous and alert and ready to fly off, in response maybe to the photographer getting too close.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 08:12   #10
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Structure is better for Cooper's which was my instant impression before I enlarged the thumbnail.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 08:55   #11
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Cooper's for me. Head, especially the beak, neck and legs are all too slight for a Gos. Streaking too light around the 'ear'
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 08:58   #12
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I lean toward Northern Goshawk.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 09:12   #13
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I lean toward Northern Goshawk.
I think it would be very long tailed for a Gos?

It also has a very lanky look, not right for Gos IMHO.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 14:08   #14
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Here are a number of pictures of juvenile Goshawks from the Canadian Peregrine Foundation. (I had the website up for a BF discussion on Coopers and Sharp-shinned Hawks.)

http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/raptors/Goshawk.html

A number of these birds have long tails and a "lanky" look.

And OP says the bird was chasing a squirrel, a large rodent and a common prey for a Goshawk. Cooper's commonly prey on birds and small rodents.

Bob
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 15:07   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
Here are a number of pictures of juvenile Goshawks from the Canadian Peregrine Foundation. (I had the website up for a BF discussion on Coopers and Sharp-shinned Hawks.)

http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/raptors/Goshawk.html

A number of these birds have long tails and a "lanky" look.
The best comparison shot would be a male Goshawk in a similar posture, e.g. this one or this one (at least I think they are males, given the proportions).
Still not entirely convinced by the OP's bird. A Goshawk should have a proportionally large body and a broad tail base, compared to its smaller relatives.


Quote:
And OP says the bird was chasing a squirrel, a large rodent and a common prey for a Goshawk. Cooper's commonly prey on birds and small rodents.

Bob
Cooper's also prey on squirrels, though. Plus, the OP didn't say how big the squirrel in question was. As you know, they come in many different sizes (depending on age and species), particularly in your country.
Now, if the OP had said the hawk was chasing a hare, that would be a different story...
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 16:18   #16
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Thank you for the amazing discussion - I am learning a lot.
I took about 35 photos of this bird since it was truly focused on the squirrel (a common gray squirrel) and barely noticed me. I have had Cooper's over the years in the backyard. I have never seen a Goshawk in my life.
Attached is another photo which may address the the posture question. The light is a bit bright in this shot, but hopefully will help a bit more with ID. Thanks again.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 16:37   #17
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Juvenile Northern Goshawks (NOGO) have streaked -- often heavily streaked -- under-tail coverts. Juvenile NOGO have white highlights to the dark bands in the tail. Juvenile NOGO do not sport tawny hoods. See various photos here. This bird is a juvenile Cooper's Hawk.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 17:10   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLeukering View Post
Juvenile Northern Goshawks (NOGO) have streaked -- often heavily streaked -- under-tail coverts. Juvenile NOGO have white highlights to the dark bands in the tail. Juvenile NOGO do not sport tawny hoods. See various photos here. This bird is a juvenile Cooper's Hawk.
Agree, I also think that the breast streaking on NG is bolder, broader at least on this side of the pond.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 20:52   #19
sirijay
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Thanks everyone. Looks like I have a juvenile Cooper's.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 23:20   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLeukering View Post
Juvenile Northern Goshawks (NOGO) have streaked -- often heavily streaked -- under-tail coverts. Juvenile NOGO have white highlights to the dark bands in the tail. Juvenile NOGO do not sport tawny hoods. See various photos here. This bird is a juvenile Cooper's Hawk.

At plate #206 in Wheeler's RAPTORS OF EASTERN NORTH AMERICA there is an in flight photograph of a Northern Goshawk, juvenile, (lightly marked type) taken in October which has unmarked white undertail coverts.

It has (quote) "Unmarked lower belly and leg feathers. Unmarked white undertail coverts. Irregular dark tail bands. Pointed retrices. Note: Palest plumage. Ventral markings including pale underwing coverts,rival pale-marked juvenile Cooper's Hawks. Sexed as female by size." White highlights to the dark bands are visible. It is a bright photograph of a bird in flight. OPs bird is perched and irregular dark tail bands are not fanned out.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 23:48   #21
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The juv Goshawks in that link do surprise me by how lanky/gracile they look, which does make me wonder if there is a difference in structure between North American and European subspecies. However, as well as the comments about streaking, they have much heavier bills than the OP's bird, so I'm still in the Cooper's camp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
Here are a number of pictures of juvenile Goshawks from the Canadian Peregrine Foundation. (I had the website up for a BF discussion on Coopers and Sharp-shinned Hawks.)

http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/raptors/Goshawk.html

A number of these birds have long tails and a "lanky" look.

And OP says the bird was chasing a squirrel, a large rodent and a common prey for a Goshawk. Cooper's commonly prey on birds and small rodents.

Bob
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