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Bittern? Heron? Which kind of Hawk? And Sparrow help in Perth, Ontario (1 Viewer)

chipster454

Well-known member
I don't know that I see rufous on the chest. It's really hard to tell with it being in shadow. I keep looking at other pictures of cooper's and goshawks online. The barring (If it is barring) on the underparts doesn't look right for either Cooper's or Goshawks for me. I'm really at a loss. At this point I'm not even sure if it's an immature or an adult. lol Obviously barring would mean adult. But as Butty points out. Barring on the flanks is consistent with immature Goshawk.
 

Torchepot

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Happy to be put right - but where does the idea that immature Goshawks have barred flanks come from?
They’re often less wary than adults and easier to photograph and observe and the ones I’ve seen usually have big streaks, tear drops or chevrons on the flanks.

The adults have barring which gets finer as they age I believe.
 

Butty

Well-known member
where does the idea that immature Goshawks have barred flanks come from?
Ha! Wish I knew! - clearly in my head from somewhere... Sibley shows a rather barry mush on the flanks that would very likely look like the pattern in the OP's photo - and many photos show big blobby marks on the flanks (quite different from the rest of the underpart streaking) that could look like the thick bars in the OP's photo - just as imm Cooper's hawk flank-markings might do the same.
 

Torchepot

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I don't know that I see rufous on the chest. It's really hard to tell with it being in shadow. I keep looking at other pictures of cooper's and goshawks online. The barring (If it is barring) on the underparts doesn't look right for either Cooper's or Goshawks for me. I'm really at a loss. At this point I'm not even sure if it's an immature or an adult. lol Obviously barring would mean adult. But as Butty points out. Barring on the flanks is consistent with immature Goshawk.
Hi Chipster, I was hoping that someone with plenty of experience of North American accipters would chip in (no pun intended) and throw some light on this.
I have no personal experience of Goshawk in the US and only limited experience of Cooper’s so I can only look at field guides or trawl through internet pictures (which anybody can do) to give you an opinion.

What I can say from experience of Goshawk in Europe is that your bird doesn’t look like an immature to me. As I’ve already said the barring on the underparts looks wrong - immature Goshawk looks so different from the adult plumage that the first time I got a really good look at one I thought it was a different species!
Secondly the tail appears to be in moult - which I believe rules out an immature.
Unfortunately your bird doesn’t look like the classic adult Goshawk plumage that I’m used to seeing either, the barring is way too heavy.
Perhaps a bird in it’s first adult plumage fits better as I think they have much heavier barring - but photos may be harder to track down.
An interesting bird - sorry I can’t be of any further help.
 

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connorco

Well-known member
United States
I've stayed out of this topic because I am relatively uncertain, it's definitely a tricky bird. I'd lean Goshawk, but go no further than that.
 

chipster454

Well-known member
Hi Chipster, I was hoping that someone with plenty of experience of North American accipters would chip in (no pun intended) and throw some light on this.
I have no personal experience of Goshawk in the US and only limited experience of Cooper’s so I can only look at field guides or trawl through internet pictures (which anybody can do) to give you an opinion.

What I can say from experience of Goshawk in Europe is that your bird doesn’t look like an immature to me. As I’ve already said the barring on the underparts looks wrong - immature Goshawk looks so different from the adult plumage that the first time I got a really good look at one I thought it was a different species!
Secondly the tail appears to be in moult - which I believe rules out an immature.
Unfortunately your bird doesn’t look like the classic adult Goshawk plumage that I’m used to seeing either, the barring is way too heavy.
Perhaps a bird in it’s first adult plumage fits better as I think they have much heavier barring - but photos may be harder to track down.
An interesting bird - sorry I can’t be of any further help.
After reading all the information you've put forward, I started seeing the bird as a Cooper's Hawk. The Ebird reviewer also suggested it is a Cooper's Hawk in an email to me. (Not that that is the end all be all)
"The documentation you have provided better fits an adult Cooper's Hawk than a young NOGO. Note the dark cap, orange barring to the chest and buffy fill to coverts that would be absent on a young Goshawk."
I wasn't thinking Cooper's when I initially saw it, and putting the picture through the Merlin bird app suggested Northern Goshawk. That made it easier for me to see Northern Goshawk. I have now officially changed my sighting to a Cooper's Hawk. I am more comfortable with that. Much thanks to everyone who took part in this discussion. It will help with my accipiter IDing in the future.
 

birdmeister

Well-known member
United States
After reading all the information you've put forward, I started seeing the bird as a Cooper's Hawk. The Ebird reviewer also suggested it is a Cooper's Hawk in an email to me. (Not that that is the end all be all)
"The documentation you have provided better fits an adult Cooper's Hawk than a young NOGO. Note the dark cap, orange barring to the chest and buffy fill to coverts that would be absent on a young Goshawk."
I wasn't thinking Cooper's when I initially saw it, and putting the picture through the Merlin bird app suggested Northern Goshawk. That made it easier for me to see Northern Goshawk. I have now officially changed my sighting to a Cooper's Hawk. I am more comfortable with that. Much thanks to everyone who took part in this discussion. It will help with my accipiter IDing in the future.
Glad the reviewer responded with a solid explanation of the photos! I think I misjudged the bird in my initial post, too, in which I suggested Gos.
 

Torchepot

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Glad to see that the issue seems to be resolved. I try to keep an open mind - been wrong too many times! My first thought was that the rufous tones didn’t fit for Goshawk - but such is the power of suggestion that I then spent ages trying to make it fit!

Now who wants to have a go at identifying the prey? ;););)
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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