[CT Birds] Sharpie vs Coop: grey tone distinction?

Arthur Shippee ashippee at snet.net
Sun Mar 23 13:13:47 EDT 2014

First the ID: thanks, Joe, for confirming my impression. The gray nape was a new mark for me.

Second the color: she wrote that in her experience with rehabbing, she had noticed darker colors on the Sharpies.  It wasn't just the website; she had the birds in hand. Perhaps she had a male Sharpie and a female Coop.


Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 23, 2014, at 12:24 PM, Joe Cala <joejr14 at aol.com> wrote:
> Arthur-
> Is Crystal suggesting the darker back being a useable field mark and citing the source as that website--that shows 4 total pictures?  I've never heard of the darkness of the back being an acceptable or useable field mark to separate Cooper's and Sharp-shinned...or even something to consider before.  Trying to compare gray tones in separate pictures in different conditions creates an entirely new set of issues.  
> While the darkness/coloration of the back can certainly be used to help sex the birds (males being darker deep blue, females being a colder gray/blue), again, I've never heard it being used to separate Cooper's and Sharp-shinned.  Perhaps what Crystal is seeing and comparing are males and females?
> In any event, your bird in question is a Cooper's Hawk--and it just further goes to show that you don't try and ID accips based on a single (in this case, suspect) field mark.  The bird has a large squared head, pale nape, and long tail which all makes this a Coop.  Nothing about this bird looks Sharpie to me.  
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