Common Names: Cooper's Hawk
Sub-category: Hawks, Kites, & Eagles
Immature Cooper's hawks are somewhat larger than a Sharp-shinned Hawk and smaller than a Northern Goshawk, though small males nearly overlap with large female Sharp-shinned Hawks, and large female Cooper's hawks nearly overlap with small male Goshawks. The Cooper's hawk appears long-necked in flight and has been described by birdwatchers as looking like a 'flying cross'.
The Cooper's hawk is found in various types of mixed deciduous forests and open woodlands, including small woodlots, riparian woodlands in dry country, open and pinyon woodlands, and forested mountainous regions and also now nests in many cities. These birds capture prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation, relying almost totally on surprise. One study showed that this is a quite dangerous hunting style. More than 300 Cooper's hawk skeletons were investigated and 23% revealed healed fractures in the bones of the chest.