Guest post by Catherine Griset, Spring 2013 Intern
A small hawk hunts quietly from a perch. Watching for smaller birds, it waits until just the right moment to dive down and attack. As it flies back to its post you notice a charcoal gray back, orange barring below, and a long tail. (Or maybe a brown back, with streaking down the front.)
What kind of hawk is this?
From that description, we could be talking about either a Sharp- shinned Hawk or a Cooper’s Hawk. Regardless of age, both hawks have long, barred tails. Adults of these species are gray and orange, with red eyes; immature birds (1st year) are brown and white, with brown streaking on the chest, and yellow eyes.