Cooper's Hawk

Accipiter cooperii

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

COHA

Code 6

ACCCOO

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

the Cooper's Hawk has a very large range, estimated globally at 8,400,000 square kilometers. It is native to North America, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala and has been spotted in Bermuda. This bird prefers forest and shrubland areas and can also reside in urban areas or rural gardens. It has an estimated population of between 100,000 and 1,000,000 individuals. Because there are no signs of significant population decline, this bird does not qualify for inclusion on the IUCN Red List. Cooper's Hawk currently has an evaluation level of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Cooper's Hawk: Medium, agile hawk with dark blue-gray back and white underparts with many fine rufous bars. Cap is darker than upperparts. Eyes are red. The tail is long with thick black-and-white bands. Legs and feet are yellow. Alternates rapid wing beats and short glides, often soars on thermals.


Range and Habitat

Cooper's Hawk: Native to the North American continent and found from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. Northernmost birds migrate as far south as Panama for the winter. Occurs in various types of mixed deciduous forests and open woodlands, including small woodlots, riparian woodlands in dry country, open and pinyon woodlands, and forested mountainous regions.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"kac-kac-kac", "kuck, kuck kuck, kuck"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • It captures a bird with its feet, and will squeeze it repeatedly to kill it, instead of biting the prey to kill it in the fashion of falcons. It has also been known to drown its prey.
  • The Cooper’s Hawk was first described in 1828 by Charles Bonaparte, a French naturalist and ornithologist who was the nephew of Napoleon. It was named after William Cooper, who collected the first specimen.
  • They capture prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation. This can be dangerous, a recent study found that 23 percent had healed fractures in the bones of the chest, especially of the furcula or wishbone.
  • A group of hawks has many collective nouns, including a "boil", "knot", "spiraling", "stream", and "tower" of hawks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Cooper's Hawk

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
RiparianX
Relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a tidewater. 
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X