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Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

(Accipiter cooperii)


(wingspan: 28’’-34’’) Cooper’s hawks have blue-gray wings and back, while their chest and throat have red-brown bars.Their tails are long, skinny, and banded.  The juveniles have brown feathers on their back and wings with brown streaks on throat and chest. They also lack the red eyes of the adults. These birds are commonly mistaken for Sharp-shinned Hawks.


Small to medium birds and small rodents make up the majority of their diet.


Here in Colorado, we have populations of Cooper’s Hawks who stay in the mountains in the spring and summer but come down to the plains for the winter. We also have populations that stay down in the plains year-round.


These birds tend to return to the same territory year after year to breed but rarely use the same nest more than once. The female will lay three to five eggs per brood. Young Cooper’s Hawks fledge after four to five weeks.


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