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Cooper’s Hawk

Coppers hawk

Coppers hawk

The Cooper’s hawk, scientific name: Accipiter cooperii is a medium sized hawk ranging anywhere from 15.5-20.5 inches in length with a 28-25 inch wingspan. The Cooper’s hawk is a short-distance migrant. They are notorious for being primarily bird eaters and also stand out because of their methods of hunting and killing prey.

The Cooper’s hawk uses its long tail to help in maneuver through dense forest and brush to capture prey and as a result about 23% of hawks surveyed were found to have fractures in their chest bones (specifically the wishbone.)

During the summer breeding months the Cooper’s hawk prefers to spend time in forested areas, however, the hawk is adapting to breeding in urban areas. This adaptability inspires hope that the Cooper’s hawk may make a return in numbers. In the 1940’s and 50’s the species population plummeted due to use of DDT. In the 1960’s the hawk began to increase in number but is still considered threatened in several states.

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