a very bad photo! White triangle at end of tail.

by Ivan
(Arlington, Virginia)


A friend of mine has taken an interest in her backyard birds and, knowing I am a birder, sent me this terrible cell phone pic. I thought that the white triangle at the base of the tail alone would clinch it but I can't ID it.


This was the beginning of February, middle of the day, in suburbs near Washington DC, within a mile of the Potomac River. Friend said it might be a hawk. I don't think it is a hawk but perhaps that gives some sense of the size.

Comments for a very bad photo! White triangle at end of tail.

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Feb 07, 2017
thanks for the ID NEW
by: Ivan

Thanks. I looked at a lot of photos online and I think Cooper's is correct, with a small chance it is a sharp-shinned. I have suggested to my friend that she get a telephoto lens!

Feb 07, 2017
Coopers Hawk NEW
by: Anonymous

This looks like a Cooper Hawk to me. I have them all the time around my year in Missouri especially in Missouri. They are one of 3 Accipitor hawks, the other two are the Sharp Shinned Hawk (Sharpy) and the Goshawk. These hawks get most of their meals by eating songbirds from yard feeders. Hawks don't have to be sitting on top of your feeder to stalk your songbirds. If you look up in the sky and imagine how far up you could still barely still see a hawk. From that distance, most hawks can look at your bird feeder area and it is still about as large to them as a football field.

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