Cooper's Hawk

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Accipiter Cooperii

Cooper's Hawk

Adults have red eyes, a dark blackish crown that is noticeably set off from a lighter nape, blue-gray upperparts and white underparts with fine, thin, reddish bars.

Their tail is blue-gray on top and pale underneath, barred with black bands. They exhibit a long barred tail and rather short, rounded wings in flight.

Juveniles have yellow eyes and have a brown cap, with brown upper parts and pale underparts with thin black streaks mostly ending at the belly.

Their tail is brown on top and pale underneath, barred with dark bands.

BILL: small, hooked bill.

SIZE: medium-sized hawks, males measure between 14 - 18 inches in length (smaller than female), and females are about 17 - 20 inches in length.

WEIGHT: males weight ranges from 220 to 440 grams and females weigh about 330 - 700 grams.

COLOR: red, black, blue-gray, white, brown and yellow.

Birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Primary Diet: carnivore (eats terrestrial vertebrates).

Animal Foods: birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles.

Wooded habitats from deep forests to leafy subdivisions and backyards.

Southern Canada to Northern Mexico.

Their most common call is a loud grating "cak-cak-cak", 2-5 seconds long, given by both sexes in defense of the nest, and during courtship.

Males frequently make a "kik" call to tell their mates where they are; females make this call too, but less often.

Females make a "whaa" call when approaching or receiving food from males.

NEST: The male builds a cup-shaped nest made of sticks and twigs and lined with bark, conifer needles and down.

EGGS: 3 - 6 bluish to greenish-white eggs.

INCUBATION: 30 - 36 days, female fed by the male.

NESTLING PHASE: 27 - 34 days.

They are diurnal and spend much of their time perched and waiting to ambush passing birds. They migrate yearly between their summer breeding grounds and their southern winter range. They are mainly solitary species that come together only to breed.

The oldest recorded Cooper's Hawk was a male and at least 20 years, 4 months old.

Cooper's Hawk Infographic






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