Cooper's Hawk

Accipiter cooperii




Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale blue or green, nest stained and brown spots

Number of Eggs:

4 - 5

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

10 - 60 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with chips, outer bark strips.


Some migrate



Cooper's Hawk: Medium-sized, agile hawk with dark blue-gray back and white underparts with many fine rufous bars. Cap is darker than upperparts. Eyes are red. Tail is long with thick black-and-white bands. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has brown back, brown-streaked underparts, and yellow eyes.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Cooper's Hawk: Lays four to five brown spotted, pale blue or green eggs in a stick nest high in a deciduous tree, usually 20 to 60 feet above the ground; returns to the same area to nest year after year. Female incubates eggs for approximately 28 days however, male has been known to assist.

Foraging and Feeding

Cooper's Hawk: Feeds mostly on birds, but also takes small mammals. Perches, waits, and quickly swoops down to seize prey; also pursues prey on the ground, half running, and half flying; known for raiding poultry yards.


Cooper's Hawk: Alarm call is a piercing "kac-kac-kac" or "kuck, kuck, kuck".

Similar Species

Cooper's Hawk: Sharp-shinned Hawk has shorter, notched tail, smaller head, and less contrast between back and crown.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The area on top of the head of the bird.
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