Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk
(Accipiter cooperii)

Order:  Accipitriformes
Family:  Accipitridae

Photo © Howiewu

Cooper's Hawk Information

Length:  14 - 20"

The Cooper's Hawk is found in deciduous, coniferous, and mixed woodlands, typically near open areas. It also uses habitats such as open woodlands, wooded edges of rivers, and occasionally urban areas.

The Cooper's Hawk preys mostly on small and medium-sized birds such as warblers, jays, and robins. Sometimes it takes larger birds such as ruffed grouse. Its diet also includes small mammals, including squirrels and chipmunks. Occasionally, it will eat amphibians, reptiles, and insects.

  Calls of the Cooper's Hawk

Additional Photos and Information

Cooper's Hawk
Photos, taxonomy, description, distribution and habitat, behavior, lifespan and conservation status. (From Wikipedia)

Cooper's Hawk in Flight
From Nature Photography by David Blevins.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

© B. Kushner

Cooper's Hawk
Identification Tips

General Information

  • Wingspan: 28 inches
  • Sexes similar, but females much larger
  • Medium-sized, broad-winged, long-tailed hawk
  • Short, dark, hooked beak
  • Long, thick tarsi appear short at rest because they are usually covered by belly feathers
  • Short, rounded wings
  • Very long tail is rounded at tip
  • Often flies with several quick wingbeats and a short glide, but also soars
  • Large angular head projects far beyond wings when soaring
  • Red eye
  • Black cap
  • Blue-gray back and upperwings
  • White breast, belly and underwing coverts marked by fine, thin, reddish bar
  • White undertail coverts
  • Tail, blue gray above and pale below, barred with black bands
  • Flight feathers, blue-gray above and pale below, with dark bars

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Cooper's Hawk
Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Cooper's Hawk Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Cooper's Hawk
Range Maps from Cornell

Cooper's Hawk breeding, year-round, and nonbreeding range

Includes separate map of sightings.

Cooper's Hawk
Christmas Bird Count Map

Historical CBC Map from USGS