Cooper's Hawk

One of the benefits of putting out seed feeders is they attract mourning doves and the doves attract accipiters. Last week a hawk caught a dove and flew off with it. Yesterday my wife saw a hawk sitting in the wooded lot behind the house, maybe 25 feet from the feeder. It sat long enough for me to take a photo and then chased an unwary dove (unsuccessfully).

On a sharp-shinned hawk all of the tail feathers are roughly the same length. On a Cooper's the center tail feathers are longer than the outside feathers. The result, seen from the underside of a perched bird, is a stacked effect. The two outer pairs of feathers are easily seen against the longer inner and center feathers.