Remember a long while back when I posted about a raptor that ate its lunch in our backyard? And we weren’t sure what kind of hawk it was? Well, a helpful reader called in the experts, and it looks like we finally have an ID:
Here is what a raptor biologist friend said when I emailed her. Hope
it helps. Also, thank you for posting this because my oldest two kids
and I had so much fun yesterday trying to figure out what it was. They
got to use their newfound knowledge and I got to learn so much. It was
Here is the email response—
"I’d say Sis is right—it’s a Cooper’s and probably a 1-year old,
judging by eye color (which is difficult to tell in that photo). It
could be a Sharp-shinned but it looks too big to be one of those.
Sharpies and Merlins aren’t much bigger than the bird it’s eating. The
kind of slate-grey feathering on the back and head can look bluish. ~K "
Thanks so much, Jo and kids, for helping us solve this mystery!