So, we were sitting on our deck at about 5:30 last evening when a hawk swoops in to our back yard and takes a rest on a branch right above our feeders. We’ve seen this guy before but can’t decide if it’s a Coopers Hawk or Sharp-Shinned Hawk. Luckily, I had my camera near by and I took a few pictures.
Right after I snapped the pictures he dove off the branch and nearly picked off one of the male Cardinals that frequent the feeders. The Cardinal escaped several attempts by the hawk to grab it. The two of them were flying in/out, and around a magnolia bush and pine tree. Finally the hawk gave up and sat back on the same branch he started on. I took a few more pictures. Unfortunately they are pretty blurry due to the low light and my having to hand hold the camera. Here they are. Maybe one of you more experienced birders can tell us which hawk it is, Coopers or Sharp-Shinned:
These first two are of the front of the hawk:
Here’s a couple of the back:
Based on these pictures, and our Kaufman Field Guide, we think it is a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. What do you think?