It Really WAS a Mystery Bird

August 18, 2006 @ 4:15 am | Filed under:

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!

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3 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Jo says:

    You’re welcome and thank you again for that post. I wish we would have found it even sooner, we had so much fun. 🙂

    Again, I hope I didn’t sound like some snotty know-it-all and was honestly just enjoying trying to figure out the “mystery bird”. lol

  2. Karen in SC says:

    This is funny – when you first posted this, I called my son in to show him, because he is obsessed with birds. He took one look and said, “Humph…that’s no kestrel. It’s a Cooper’s hawk, or maybe a sharp-shinned hawk…I’m pretty sure it’s a Cooper’s, though.” (Yes, he is smug about his bird knowledge.) I’m learning to trust that he knows what he’s talking about when he tells me about birds!

  3. Helene says:

    I also have a son who seems to be able to identify every flying thing from miles away and then gets vindicated by the field guide every time! I never taught him anything about birds…I never asked him to learn anything about birds….he just sifted through field guide after field guide following the interests of his heart until he knew something about every species in our area. These are the best kinds of “homeschool moments.” Kudos to Karen and her “smug” son!