Recently both Pat and Dan have posted about Sharp-shinned Hawks in their yard. Now it’s my turn. Last week we had our first ever accipiter in our SE Calgary yard, a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk that stopped here briefly.
It took me a while to figure out whether it was a Sharp-shinned or Cooper’s Hawk, but it actually is almost identical to the one Pat posted about here and here, and which was identified as a juvenile Sharp-shinned. The bird that Dan saw was an adult, and you can read about it here.
The hawk was followed by about forty Black-billed Magpies, but they didn’t mob it. While it sat on our fence, they just kept their distance in a nearby poplar. But when the hawk left, they followed.
About twenty of the magpies that were following the hawk.
Unlike Dan’s hawk, my bird didn’t take any of the hundred or so small birds that were around my feeders at the time. It just rested on the fence for three or four minutes, then flew off, and I haven’t seen it again.
Gus Yaki saw these pictures and said that he believes he has seen this same individual several times this autumn and winter in Fish Creek Park and along the Bow River. It is distinctive because of the prominent white tips to the back feathers, which is unusual in this species.
A view of the bird’s back, showing large white areas on the feather tips.
It was certainly exciting to see this bird, even if it was only for a few minutes, and it’s one more species for the yard list.
Posted by Bob Lefebvre