Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk, immature - Mojave Desert, CA
© Tom Benson
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk, adult - Bolinas, CA
© Tom Benson

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a casual visitor to campus with about ten sightings of migrants in March-April and October-November. The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a fairly common migrant and winter visitor in southern California.

The adult Sharp-shinned Hawk can be identified by its slaty blue upperparts and crown, reddish orange underparts, white rump and undertail coverts, long, banded tail, and orange-red eye. Juveniles have mostly brown upperparts, white underparts with brown streaking, and a yellow eye. It can be difficult to distinguish from the similar-looking Cooper's Hawk, but is smaller and has a shorter, more squared tail.


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