Common Names: Sharp-shinned Hawk
Sub-category: Hawks, Kites, & Eagles
The Sharp-shinned is the smallest hawk to reside in USA and Canada. The Sharp-shinned is easily mistaken for the slightly larger and lankier Cooper's Hawk, which match the Sharp-shinned in plumage. In flight, the Cooper's, with its longer wings and larger head, is sometimes compared to a 'flying cross'; whereas the broader-winged and smaller-headed Sharp-shinned is described as a 'flying mallet'.
These birds surprise and capture all their prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation. They are adept at navigating dense thickets. The great majority of this hawk's prey is small birds, especially various songbirds such as sparrows, wood-warblers and American Robins.