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Oct 20, 2014

Immature Sharp-shinned Hawk lacks experience

                                                                                                                         Photo by BarrytheBirder
This young and hungry Sharp-shinned Hawk was unsuccessful in its swift attack on the American Goldfinches at the Niger Seed feeders today.   But instead of immediately flying off like mature hawks do, it decided to perch and look about for returning birds.   The birds, of course, did not return as long as the juvenile hawk remained in place.   It eventually spread its wings and leaped into the air to look for other prey.   In our backyard, adult 'sharp-shins' and Cooper's Hawks, if their feeder attacks are successful, will usually drop to the ground or quickly move to a nearby branch, adjust their grip on their prey and take off for more private surroundings in which to devour its meal.   Small birds, like sparrows, are easy prey for the hawks, but the larger Cooper's Hawks can also capture bigger birds, such as Mourning Doves.

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