Birders know that Cooper's Hawks and Sharp-shinned Hawks look alike. These two species share many of the same field marks, and can often be found in the same habitat, behaving the same way. However, they don't often appear in the exact same place at the same time. That's what makes a series of photos posted earlier this month on the Cornell FeederWatch blog truly remarkable. A staff member observed and photographed a Sharpie mobbing a Cooper's Hawk, and the results were pretty amazing: Sharp-shinned Hawk Versus Cooper’s Hawk. When you've just got one bird to identify, there are few key points to consider when trying to determine whether your bird is a Cooper's Hawk or a Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Size, head shape, and body proportions are among the important attributes to keep in mind in this identification challenge. This cute original design featuring a Birdorable Cooper's Hawk next to a Birdorable Sharp-shinned Hawk points out these tips and more. This new design is available on t-shirts and novelties for your accipter-studying convenience.