Saturday, February 23, 2013

Help Me ID this Bird

Hawk on white oak in our back yard
It's not Walden, nor a Sand County, but our little inner suburban 1/8 acre supports a decent wildlife variety. Beyond squirrels, our neighborhood has deer, and the occasional fox. One year we came home and discovered, sadly, a dead raccoon on our front yard. We called animal patrol, concerned about rabies, but once dead, not much can be done but dispose of the poor critter. I've also seen mice and, unfortunately, rats who are fond of our compost bin.

We also get a good assortment of birds. We have lots of trees, and our bird feeders help. Today, instead of sparrows and grackles we were visitedby a hawk! Which may explain why I haven't seen mice lately. According to my Waterford Press pocket naturalist guide from the Audubon society, for Maryland and DC Birds, it's either a Sharp-shinned Hawk or a Red-shouldered Hawk. It appears to be a juvenile, so I can't be certain.

Any ideas?



    Looks like a Sharp-shinned Hawk to me; you can research similar species at this web-site, pretty comprehensive. Beautiful picture!

  2. Thanks, Beda. A nearby neighbor and super bird expert says its a Cooper's Hawk. I'm not so sure, but I'll defer to his superior knowledge. I'm gonna keep my eyes open and camera nearby - maybe I'll get a front on pic someday.