Cooper’s Hawk Bird – Profile | Facts | Size | Juvenile | Diet | Breeding

cooper's hawk bird_hawk adaptations

Because Cooper’s hawk bird and sharp-shinned hawk look so related, it can be crucial for birders to rapidly acknowledge the important thing discipline marks that may separate these species. In this article, I am going to talk about cooper’s hawk bird image, feeder, locations, juvenile, size, facts, etc.

Cooper’s Hawk Bird profile

Once you might be aware of what makes Cooper’s hawks distinctive, it’s simpler to tell the 2 kinds of raptors aside. The darkish, hooked bill exhibits a yellow cere, and these raptors have broad, rounded wings and an exceptionally long tail. Males and females look related, however, females are bigger than males.

The head is blue-gray with a darker cap that contrasts markedly with a paler nape. The wings and back are blue-gray. The chest and stomach are white with heavy rufous or brown barring or streaking that’s lighter towards the legs.

The long tail has thick bars and an outstanding white tip, although the tip can rapidly turn out to be worn and will not be instantly seen. The undertail coverts are white, the legs are yellow, and the eyes are red.

Juvenile birds look just like adults however have paler yellow or red-orange eyes that progressively darken as they mature. Juvenile birds even have drip-like brown, vertical streaking on the breast fairly than the barring sample.

Birds of prey aren’t usually vocal, however, Cooper’s hawks will use a fast, sharp “keh-keh-keh-keh-keh-keh” call alarmed or aggressive, in addition to an excessive pitched whistle when threatened or in misery.

Cooper’s Hawk Bird Physical Description

Cooper’s hawks are medium-sized birds with long, lean bodies. Individuals within the western part of the variables are typically smaller than those within the east.

Male size ranges from 35 to 46 cm and the size of feminine ranges from 42 to 50 cm. The common mass of males ranges from 280 g for western males to 349 g for eastern males.

The common mass of females ranges from 439 g for western females to 566 g for eastern females. Cooper’s hawks have a wingspan of 75 to 94 cm.

Adult Cooper’s hawks have a darkish blackish crown that’s noticeably set off from a lighter nape. They have a blue-gray back and a tail that’s crossed by a number of darkish bands and has a definite white band at its tip. In-flight, Cooper’s hawks display a long barred tail and fairly brief, rounded wings.

The eyes of this hawk, like most predatory birds, face ahead, giving it a good depth notion for looking and catching prey whereas flying at excessive speeds.

The hooked bill is properly adapted to ripping the flesh of prey. A swift flyer, Cooper’s hawks have a fast wingbeat and are capable of negotiating closely vegetated woodland habitats.

Cooper’s hawks could be simply confused with sharp-shinned hawks, that are smaller (25 to 35 cm) and have a much less distinct darkish crown and a tail that’s sq. on the tip, not like the rounded tip of Cooper’s hawk’s tails. Cooper’s hawks additionally exhibit slower, stiffer wingbeats than sharp-shinned hawks.

Both female and male Cooper’s hawks care for his or their chicks. During incubation, the feminine spends more often than not defending the eggs and nest, and the male offers almost all of her meals.

After hatching, the younger are tended by each dad and mom. The younger are semialtricial at hatching, and thus require major parental funding to outlive.

The male continues to do a lot of the looking through the hatchling stage. Both dad and mom proceed to supply meals to the chicks till they turn out to be unbiased at about eight weeks.

Cooper’s Hawk Habitat and Distribution

Cooper’s hawks are widespread all through the United States, Mexico, and southern Canada. They are usually present in forested habitats together with mountainous areas, although very dense, thick forests are prevented as a result of these bigger birds wouldn’t have as a lot of room to maneuver.

These birds may even adapt to open forested areas in city and suburban areas, corresponding to cemeteries, parks, and golf programs.


Northern Cooper’s hawk populations within the Northeast, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, and southern Canada could migrate seasonally relying on obtainable meals.

Many Cooper’s hawks don’t migrate, nevertheless, and as an alternative keep of their similar vary year-round.

cooper's hawk bird


Cooper’s hawks are territorial birds that may be aggressive towards different raptors, significantly sharp-shinned hawks.

They are additionally particularly aggressive close to nesting websites, and can even dive at people who strategy too carefully. These birds’ long tails and brief wings give them wonderful maneuverability by means of forests.

Cooper’s Hawk Bird Diet and Feeding

Cooper’s hawks are carnivorous raptors and hunt a wide range of totally different animals.

Typical Cooper’s hawk prey can embody small and medium-sized birds corresponding to finches, songbirds, starlings, quail, doves, and pigeons, in addition to small mammals like mice, voles, and sometimes squirrels and chipmunks.

They hunt both by flying close to bushes to ambush small prey or by perching on poles, fences, or timber to attend for small birds to strategy.

After catching prey, they might feed on the bottom or carry their meal to a safer, more safe location. Digestion can take a number of hours, and the birds will sit very nonetheless throughout that point.

After digesting, these raptors will regurgitate a pellet of inedible materials corresponding to bones and fur.


Cooper’s hawks are monogamous birds. The male builds a stick nest with a shallow cup lined with bits of bark, positioning the nest in a tree 20-50 ft above the bottom. The feminine will regulate the nest to her liking before beginning to lay eggs.

Eggs and Young

The eggs of Cooper’s hawk are pale blue or blue-white, and there are 2-5 eggs in every brood. A mated pair solely produces one brood per year. Both dad and mom incubate the eggs for 30-35 days and can feed the younger birds for 27-35 days till they’re prepared to go away from the nest.

Cooper’s Hawk Conservation

While Cooper’s hawks aren’t thought of threatened or endangered, they’re in danger from all kinds of threats. Poisoned rodents can contaminate looking raptors, and since these birds of prey are at home in city and suburban areas, window collisions are additionally a grave menace. Minimizing rodenticide use and taking steps to make home windows more seen to looking hawks is crucial to guard these birds.

Cooper’s Hawk Bird Reproduction

Cooper’s hawks are monogamous, and plenty of pairs mate for all times. Pairs breed as soon as per year and lift one brood per breeding season.

The male chooses the nest site, however, the feminine does nearly all of the nest-building. Courtship actions embody stylized flights with the wings held in a deep arc. Cooper’s hawks are territorial and defend a territory across the nest.

Courtship actions embody flight shows. For instance, the male of a pair will fly across the feminine exposing his expanded underneath tail coverts to her. The male raises his wings high above the back and flies in a large arc with sluggish, rhythmic flapping.

Typically these display flights happen on vibrant, sunny days in mid-morning, and start with each bird hovering excessively on thermals. The female and male could each take part in courtship flights.

The male begins by diving towards the feminine, adopted by a really slow-speed chase. Both birds transfer with sluggish and exaggerated wing beats alternated with glides wherein the wings are held at a dihedral angle and the white underneath tail coverts are conspicuously unfold.

Cooper’s hawks start breeding as early as March. Most people don’t breed till they’re no less than two years old. Pairs construct nests fabricated from sticks and twigs and lined with bark, conifer needles, and down.

Males choose a lot of the nest supplies and do a lot of the nest constructing, though females contribute items of fabric sometimes. The feminine lays three to six (often four to five) bluish to greenish-white eggs which are often noticed and shortly turn out to be stained within the nest.

The eggs hatch after 32 to 36 days, throughout which era they’re incubated primarily by the feminine. During this time, the male offers a lot of meals for the feminine.

After the eggs hatch, each dad and mom have a tendency the younger who go away the nest after 27 to 34 days. Parents proceed to supply meals till the younger turn out to be unbiased at about eight weeks.

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What they do

Its bluish-black back and wings and red eyes make the Cooper’s Hawk one among North America’s prettier hawks. Similar in coloration to the Sharp-shinned Hawk, however with a more rounded tail, the Cooper’s Hawk is completely tailored to catching prey in a dense forest setting.

Its rounded wings and long tail, which acts as a rudder on a ship, assist the chook to maneuver by means of tight spots – corresponding to a tangle of branches – to get at its fast transferring prey.

However, this forest species could slowly be making its strategy to cities. It is changing into more widespread in city settings and in sure areas can generally be discovered nesting in timber not removed from properties or different buildings.

Though these hawks nonetheless prefer their natural forest habitat, an abundance of doves and pigeons, in addition to smaller birds drawn to yard chook feeders, are all tempting prey for a hungry hawk, particularly in winter when meals could be scarce.

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