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Watchin' me like a .............

barlow46barlow46 Posts: 312 Deckhand
East Coast Florida


  • barlow46barlow46 Posts: 312 Deckhand
    Cooper's or Red Shouldered?
    East Coast Florida
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 1,250 Officer
    Young Cooper's.
  • JWTJWT Posts: 788 Officer
    what is the tip off as to the difference........ i have a hard time, especially with young ones
  • ScoutboatScoutboat Posts: 2,575 Captain
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 1,250 Officer
    edited August 2018 #6
    And a longer tail, slimmer body.  Cooper's are in a completely different family that Red-shouldered.  it's one of the Accipiters, along with Sharp-shinned and Northern Goshawk.  They had slimmer bodies, smaller heads, longer tails, long legs, and wings that are set farther forward.  Rred-shouldered are Buteos, which are stockier birds.  When you see them in flight, think of them as fighters vs bombers, although the size difference isn't that great.  The shape is because or their adaptation.  Accipiters specialize primarily in hunting other birds like falcons do (another family of raptors altogether), while Buteos are generalists that will feed on birds if the opportunity arises, but will target mostly rodents and reptiles and stuff like that.  Cooper's generally hunt from the air, waiting high above to swoop down on unsuspecting prey on the flight, especially doves.  Red-shouldered and other buteos prefer to wait on a tall perch to hunt prey on the ground.  Here is a photo of a young Cooper's showing more of a profile so you can see the shape.  I don't have any Red-shouldered photos since they are so common I usually don't bother with it.  Cooper's are also pretty common, but I had to take this photo since it landed on my roof.

  • JWTJWT Posts: 788 Officer
    that is very helpful. thanks for the info!
  • conchydongconchydong Posts: 15,327 AG
    I put out seeds for doves on my pool deck and have a Coopers that makes a couple passes at them almost on a daily basis. While sitting outside having coffee in the AM or a drink and cigar in the PM I have witnessed at least a half a dozen kills and three times as many misses. Unfortunately, I have never been able to capture it on film. I might get a game camera just for this. A great Raptor for sure. I live in the City (Pompano) BTW.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • xeniaxenia Posts: 1,250 Officer
    Test post of a Swainson's  Hawk.

  • xeniaxenia Posts: 1,250 Officer
    Obviously didn't work.  Something changed from one day to the next, since I was able to post the photo of the Cooper's Hawk yesterday, but can't post any photo today.  This forum is a real piece of crap.  I don't even see a way to contact the forum manager to alert them of problems.  I'm done!
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