By Ilona Loser (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ilona Loser (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

Range
Breeds in open woods of eastern, northern and western North America. On migration, concentrates in a few locations on the Great Lakes and Atlantic Coast. Winters throughout the United States except for the northern Great Plains.

Size
Length          9-13 inches
Wingspan     17-22 inches
Weight          3-8 ounces

Habitat
Deciduous or mixed woods; conifers.

Diet
Almost exclusively small birds.

Characteristics
Smaller cousin of the Cooper's Hawk; however, not as adaptable as the Cooper's Hawk, either in diet or in habitat selection. Numbers have been in decline for many years, possibly due to loss of habitat or a diminishing prey base. Appear similar to a Cooper's Hawk in the field, but are smaller and have a square-tipped tail, unlike the Cooper's round-tipped tail. Aggressive avian predators, often found near bird feeders. High strung, and require special care in rehabilitation. Extremely quick and maneuverable birds, out-flying their prey. Female is substantially bigger than the male, which is about the size of a North American Kestrel. Series of four bands on tail.