Accipiter cooperii
(Cooper's Hawk)


Order: Falconiformes
Order Description: Vultures, Osprey, Hawks, Falcons
Family: Accipitridae
Family Description: Osprey, Hawks and Eagles

Physical Description:
14-20" (36-51 cm). Notice the rounded, not square, tail. Adult males are slate blue above, rusty barred below. Adult females are larger and brownish-blue above. Both have a darker cap, white undertail coverts, and red eyes. Juveniles are brown backed with a white breast and brown streaks on it. The eyes are yellow.

Similar Species- Sharp-shinned, and Cooper's Hawks, Northern Goshawk

Song:
Woodpecker-like kak-kak-kak-kak.

Distribution:
Breeds from southern British Columbia, east to central Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, and south to northern Mexico and southeastern United States. Winters from Washington, Colorado, southern Minnesota, southern Ontario, and New England, south to Middle America.

Habitat:
Primarily found in mature forests (either deciduousClick word for definition or coniferousClick word for definition, but mostly the former); also found in open woodlands and forest edges. Migrates mostly along ridges and coastlines. In Idaho, nests in coniferous and deciduous forests (especially along riparianClick word for definition corridorsClick word for definition), and occupies edges and more open habitat when not breeding.

Diet:
Eats mainly medium- size birds such as starlings, thrushes, and quail. Will also eat some birds up to size of adult Ruffed Grouse, small birds, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

Ecology:
Secretive. Typically hunts from inconspicuous perch. Sometimes attracted to birds at feeders. Builds stick nest in coniferous or deciduous tree. In various areas, nesting densityClick word for definition has been measured at 1 nest/730-2300 ha; nests are usually not closer than 1 km apart. Individuals maintain small territory centered on nest site. Annual mortalityClick word for definition has been measured at about 80% in immatures, and 34% in adults. Idaho population is partially migratory -- pushed into lower elevations and into southern Idaho during winter.

Reproduction:
Female incubatesClick word for definition 4-5 eggs for about 5 wk; male brings food. Young leave nest at 4-5 wk, return to nest for food for about 10 days, become independent at about 8 wk, and first breed at 2 yr (occasionally at 1 yr.)

Conservation:
Element Code: ABNKC12040
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S4,NTMB
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
No references are available at this time


Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.