[CT Birds] Accipiter ID Update

Joseph Cala Joejr14 at aol.com
Tue Jan 31 16:37:57 EST 2012

So the tally from the responses has been four votes for Goshawk, two for 

Most of the responses received back from the Ohio Listserv have 
apparently been for Cooper's.

Here's a basic rundown of the specific field marks referenced as to why 
Coop v Gos.

Breast streaking is too fine
Tail bands are not bordered with light line
Tail bands are straight across--not wavy
Too little gray space between tail bands
Range (Apparently Goshawks in Ohio are very rare, even during 
migration.  An Ohio poster on the forum claims that they just had their 
first photographed Goshawk confirmation in Ohio last year)
Lightly marked white supercilium
Pale yellow iris color
No brown patch in the auricular area

White supercilium plenty bold enough for Gos.
Some tail bands have thin white edging, some don't.
Dark cheek bands with white in between, plus streaking on the throat
White bars in greater coverts
White bars within light tail bands
Uneven tail bands
White tips to the tail feathers instead of white banding as in Coops

A quote from a prominent Ohio birder:
  "On this bird, the streaking is entirely too fine and widespread for 
Gos, the face too punched in and "surprised" (Gos is buteo-like and more 
fierce), and the underparts streaking too fine and scattered. Overall, 
while size is difficult to judge without comparison(s), the bird is too 
sleek and well-proportioned. Goshawk is a large, bulky bird, more like a 
buteo. Goshawks are heavy, built, more reminiscent of Red-shouldered 
immature, or small immature Red-tailed in overall girth and proportion.

In this case, while this bird appears to have a clear and defined white 
supercilium, the full span of ID marks does not add up to Gos. Many 
Cooper's can show clear eye-lines but all marks must add up."

I find it very interesting that a good number of people can look at the 
same picture and reference the same exact field marks and come up with 
two completely different conclusions.  I absolutely love debate like 
this.  One thing I do wonder, if Goshawks are indeed such a rare bird in 
Ohio, is that factoring into why so many birders from Ohio are calling 
this a Cooper's?

Anybody have any additional thoughts?

More information about the CTBirds mailing list