Photo by Bob Gress
Length: 15 - 18 inches
Wingspread: 29 - 33 inches
Weight: 12 - 19 ounces
All three accipiters (Cooper's Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk and Goshawk) have short,
rounded wings and long rudder-like tails that allow them maneuverability necessary in
their woodland habitats. Coopers hawks are secretive, crow-sized accipiters
that prefer mixed woodlands with patchy openings and edges rather than dense forests.
Adults are slate gray on the back with rufous, barred chests. Their long tails have dark
bands with a distinct white band on the rounded tip. Adults have reddish-orange eyes.
Females are considerably larger than males.
From southern Canada through the United States and into northern Mexico,
Coopers hawks can be found wherever there is appropriate woodlands and available
prey. In Kansas, they might be seen year-round in wooded farm lots, tree rows, riparian
woodlands or even in wooded city parks. They are more numerous in the eastern and central
parts of the state.
Coopers hawks are efficient predators built for quick, short flights after
its mostly avian prey. They sometimes hunt from an inconspicuous perch, or will fly low to
the ground in an attempt to surprise and flush prey. They capture mostly small and medium
sized birds, but occasionally catch small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
Other Kansas Hawks
Text: Bob Gress and Vanessa Avara
Web Design: Jim Mason