COOPERS HAWK
 (Accipiter cooperii)

The Coopers Hawk is a North American bird of prey found  across the continent.

They were first observed and described by Charles L Bonaparte in 1828 and identified as a member of the Goshawk genus, Accipiter, and then named for the naturalist, William Cooper who was one of the founders of the New York Lyceum of Natural History, which later became the New York Academy of Sciences.

Coopers Hawk in tree in winter with snow on ground

Adults have red eyes and have a black cap, with blue-gray upper parts and white underparts with fine, thin, reddish bars. Their tail is blue-gray on top and pale underneath, barred with black bands.

Cooper's Hawks are faithful mates, not necessarily for life, but they pair bond and raise their young together.

As in other birds of prey, the female Cooper's Hawk is larger than the male, weighing between 12 - 24 ounces and has a length of 17 - 20".  Males weigh around 7.5 ounces and 15 ounces and measure between 14" to 18" from beak to tail-tip.

Cooper's Hawk close-up of head and breast

These raptors have a wingspan which ranges between 24" to 37" and their wings have a rounded tip and a fairly long tail and are smaller than a Red Tailed Hawk.

Couples perform a mating ritual which, according to Wikipedia, includes stylized flights with the wings positioned in a deep arc. During their flight displays the male will begin by diving toward the female. A slow speed-chase follows involving the male flying around the female exposing his expanded under tail coverts to her. The male raises his wings high above the back and flies in a wide arc with slow, rhythmic flapping. Courting usually occurs on bright, sunny days, in midmorning.

They typically raise one clutch of eggs each year.

They build their nests of sticks in large trees, preferably in forested areas, and lay between 3 and 5 blue eggs in a nest made of sticks, usually high in the branches of pine, oak, beech or spruce trees.

The eggs are incubated by the female for around 30 days or more, and the little hatchlings are fully fledged (feathered) by 30 days old and by 8 weeks of age are fully independent.

A similar, but smaller, raptor is the Sharp-shinned Hawk and they are both often observed at bird-feeders where they are looking for an easy meal.

Coopers Hawk Info ...

Cooper's Hawk - All About Birds


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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Immature Cooper's Hawk on the back deck 
We saw this hawk on the back deck today. We are thinking it's an immature Cooper's Hawk but aren't quite sure. We would love to know what you …

Cooper's Hawk? 
I had just pulled into the driveway in Brampton when a large bird flew over my hood and grabbed another bird from the lawn near my car. There was …

Need help identifying 
I was walking along the Rouge off off the trail at Morningside and came across two large raptors. One of them had landed and I was able to get a photo …

Cooper's Hawk in Woodstock 
I just pulled into my driveway and this Blue-Grey beauty came to say "Hi". I'm sure it's a Cooper's Hawk. Although Red-Tails are prolific in this …

Hawk in January 
This hawk was observed on January 14th, on the fence between my yard and our neighbours. The hawk was about 5 metres from the patio door when I shot …

Willowdale Hawk 
This was in my backyard this morning! Any ideas ?? I know it's not a red-tail.... I can't tell what type of hawk this is, but perhaps …

What Oshawa Bird is this? Falcon or Hawk? 
This bird ate a pigeon in the yard. Seen April 25 2016. Okay, readers, what kind of bird is this? Do any of you know - please comment and let us …

Cooper's Hawk in the Backyard 
A Cooper's Hawk (we think) was on the fence, eating what we thought was a squirrel. It stayed at least ten minutes, then flew off with its prey.

Cooper's Hawk 
While wandering the country roads a week ago looking for the returning Snowy Owls, I passed a lot of Hawks. I was able to catch the attached pictures, …

Cooper's Hawk or Sharp-shinned Hawk? 
This guy visited the backyard presumably after spotting sparrows at my feeders. Not sure if it is a Cooper's or Sharp-shinned Hawk. Does anyone …

Curious what this Bird of Prey is 
I saw this bird early afternoon in early April. It let me get quite close and take quite a few pictures before it flew off. I'm not sure what bird …

Cooper's Hawk 
This Cooper's Hawk has been a frequent visitor to our backyard in Mississauga, Ontario this past winter. Obviously he is very hungry as he has returned …

Hawk eating kill in backyard 
This hawk remained eating the kill for about an hour. Was Saturday February 15 about 9:00 am in the Kitchener area. Anyone know what type of hawk …

Backyard Kill 
3:00 pm January 6 Southeast Oakville, Ontario backyard. We watched a bird of prey consume a Mourning Dove. The kill took place at our backyard …

First Coopers Hawk Sighting (could be Sharp Shinned too) 
I was walking my dog in Richmond Hill, Ontario, the other day and heard this weird chirping in the bush. I had brought my camera hoping for a good …

"Coop" our resident Hawk 
No wonder there are no birds at our feeder today. Thanks for sending this magnificent shot to us, I'm sure our readers will love it!

Hawk? 
I saw a hawk on my fence in my backyard. It was sitting waiting for the Evening Grossbeaks at my feeder. We back on to a pond with all sorts …

Coop 
While having our dinner, and watching the birds having theirs, at our feeder, suddenly mass panic! "Coop" our resident Hawk, decided to drop by for …

Possibly Cooper's Hawk 
The predator sits on the magnolia tree in front of my window looking at birds and squirrels feeding under the bird feeder. Which one out of three Squirrels, …

Coopers Hawk 
A regular visitor, looking for a meal, in our garden. Marinus Pater Georgetown Ontario Thanks! Another great picture!

Coopers Hawk Visits 
Marinus, one of our readers from Georgetown, sent us this report - For weeks we seem to have the presence of a Coopers Hawk. It has been unsuccessfully …

A Hawk or Falcon? 
Just before dark today, I filled the bird feeder and there was quite a number of sparrows. All of a sudden they disappeared and I noticed it. In …

Cooper's Hawk? 
We saw a new bird of prey in our area today. I think it might be a Cooper's Hawk, though I am not sure. It was looking for birds. It is definitely …

Backyard Cooper's Hawk Not rated yet
This hawk flew into our backyard and perched on our patio umbrella for about 5 minutes and then flew off. Wow! Thank you for sending this magnificent …

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Hawk or Falcon? Not rated yet
What kind of bird is it? I'm not sure what kind of bird this is, but I'm pretty sure one of our readers will be able to identify it.

Erin Mills Hawk Not rated yet
We spotted a Cooper's Hawk sitting on our back fence on New Years Day 2021. The squirrels are very nervously staying very still in the trees.

Young Cooper’s Hawk? Not rated yet
This immature Cooper’s hawk was pictured in Bright’s Grove, Ontario about a kilometre from Lake Huron. He/she was trying to catch squirrels …

Dead Cooper's Hawk Meadowvale Mississauga Not rated yet
I discovered these two dead birds next to each other in my townhouse complex in Meadowvale, Mississauga the morning of Sept. 24, 2020. I think the …

High Park Hawk Not rated yet
Hi! I took this photo in High Park Toronto on March 15th. This beauty sat for a long while watching the many people out on the trail that day. …

Is this a Cooper’s Hawk? Not rated yet
This was sighted in Toronto near Woodbine Beach, before he/she was mobbed by smaller birds causing him/her to leave. Thank you for sending this magnificent …

Coopers Hawks in Kitchener Not rated yet
We saw a male and female mate today in Kitchener Ontario, on Silverspring Crescent! We then saw the female fly to her nest on that street and the male …

Downtown London, Old North area Not rated yet
A pair of Cooper’s hawks, possibly with one or more juveniles have been in my yard at dusk and dawn daily for a week or two now. Not a great photo, …

Hawk checking out a van in Oakville Not rated yet
February 20th 2020 I was sitting in my house I glanced out of the front window and saw people staring into my driveway. When I went to investigate …

Cooper's Hawk Not rated yet
Took this photo of a Cooper's Hawk taken on November 14th, 2019 at La Salle Park in Burlington, Ontario. It was dive bombing the ducks on the shoreline. …

Cooper's Hawk near bird feeder Not rated yet
We have birds at our feeder all day in Dundas, Ontario, but I haven't seen this guy before ... and he frightened away all of the other birds. He sat …

Coopers Hawk with prey in my backyard Not rated yet
I live in Little Italy in downtown Toronto. While I was on the phone inside my office, I watched a Cooper's Hawk land on our pergola. Since I have …

Cooper's Hawk identification Not rated yet
These pictures are of a Cooper's Hawk, as seen in Monica Dingle's backyard, after killing a dove. Taken in our garden.

Coop looking for breakfast Not rated yet
With "Coop", our resident Cooper's Hawk around, we don't have many other birds in our garden this morning.

Damp Raptor - Coopers Hawk Not rated yet
I believe that this is a Coopers Hawk. Here it is resting on the railing of our deck after hunting small birds in our back yard at our feeder. …

Cooper's Hawks Not rated yet
Two Cooper's hawks, male and female, appeared in my neighbourhood often for the winter and fall months. Every Saturday and Sunday it was almost guaranteed …

Coopers Hawk (Bird on a Wire) Not rated yet
Earlier I submitted a sighting of Raptors locking talons in a mating ritual. I'm not sure if it's the same bird. The picture was taken June 2012 …

Coopers Hawk Not rated yet
I was looking out the kitchen window and saw the hawk sitting on the fence. We live in St. Thomas, Ontario. He was observing the bird feeder, of …

Coopers Hawk Not rated yet
I was sitting in my backyard enjoying the sunshine this December day, I'm used to seeing all kinds of birds in my yard. I even had a hawk swoop down …

Coopers Hawk in Oakville Not rated yet
I have a large variety of birds that feed in my backyard, in the past week I have what I believe is a Coopers Hawk. I saw it Monday morning eating …

"COOP" Not rated yet
"Coop" our resident Coopers Hawk, on the look out for his lunch. Usually one of the Mourning Doves.

May be Cooper's Hawk Not rated yet
I believe I saw a Juvenile Cooper's Hawk today in Whitby Ontario. The colouration matches the picture in Wikipedia of the same. I also took the time …

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