Fresh from having seen Trumpeter Swans in Kokanee Creek Park, I have now seen an accipiter there. 

Accipiters are a genus of hawks; They are not a species. Accipiters are distinguished by short, broad wings which have been adapted for fast flight through woods. As such, accipiters would seem to be a comfortable fit to our highly wooded Park.

But, which accipiter did I see? The picture, below, suggests two likely choices: Cooper’s Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk. At first I guessed one, but then decided from the picture that it was probably the other. 

However, rather than influence the few hard-core birders who subscribe to my blog, I leave it to them to tell me what it was that I saw in the Park.

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3 Responses to Accipiter

  1. peter jonker says:

    Looks like an adult sharp-shinned to me—tail feathers more or less of equal length; no terminal white band (although the feathers look to be in worn condition!); parakeet-like head-to-bill profile. A nice winter find, Alistair. Best wishes.

  2. Carlo says:

    I concur with Peter on Sharpie. As he points out, the tail feathers appear to be near equal length – Coop would have longer middle feathers, which gives the ’rounded’ look . . . usually. Also, the outer tip of the outer tail feather is somewhat pointy, adding to the ‘square-tail’ look. Good shot – those guys usually don’t like to hang around for photos.

    • Alistair says:

      Peter, Carlo, I feel vindicated. When I saw it at the top of a tree, I guessed Cooper’s, but, like the two of you, after looking at the picture of the spread tail, I revised my estimation to the Sharp-shinned.

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