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Sharp-shinned Hawk Photos

Photography by Terry Sohl

My Favorite:  Our little winter yard assassins! In our part of South Dakota, winter is the only time you tend to see Sharp-shinned Hawks, and the vast majority of the sightings I've had have been right in my own backyard around our feeders, or around other feeder complexes. They know where their prey is, and they certainly take advantage of the concentration of small birds at feeders! Most of the time a sighting occurs when one flies around the corner of the house and surprises the birds at the feeder. Fortunately I've had a few opportunities too where one sits in a tree or on our fence in the backyard.

My favorite photo of the species is the one below, from January, 2013 in our backyard. I admit the reason it's my favorite is that it is posing in such a manner that it's very clearly a Sharp-shinned Hawk! Sharp-shinned Hawks and Cooper's Hawks can be difficult to differentiate, but one tell-tale sign of a Sharp-shinned Hawk is the squarish tail, where the outer tail feathers are almost the same length as the central tail feathers. Couldn't have asked for a better pose from this guy to demonstrate it!

Sharp-shinned Hawk - Accipiter striatus

Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 - Accipiter striatus

Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 - Accipiter striatus

Sharp-shinned Hawk 3 - Accipiter striatus

Sharp-shinned Hawk 4 - Accipiter striatus

Sharp-shinned Hawk 1

November 18th, 2006

Brandon, South Dakota

Sharp-shinned Hawk 2

November 18th, 2006

Brandon, South Dakota

Sharp-shinned Hawk 3

November 18th, 2006

Brandon, South Dakota

Sharp-shinned Hawk 4

January 5th, 2007

Baltic, South Dakota

Sharp-shinned Hawk 5 - Accipiter striatus

Sharp-shinned Hawk 6 - Accipiter striatus

Sharp-shinned Hawk 7 - Accipiter striatus

Sharp-shinned Hawk 8 - Accipiter striatus

Sharp-shinned Hawk 5

January 5th, 2007

Baltic, South Dakota

Sharp-shinned Hawk 6

January 3rd, 2013

Brandon, South Dakota

Sharp-shinned Hawk 7

January 3rd, 2013

Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sharp-shinned Hawk 8

January 3rd, 2013

Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sharp-shinned Hawk 9 - Accipiter striatus

 

 

 

Sharp-shinned Hawk 9

January 2nd, 2021

Brandon, South Dakota

     

Click here for the species description page for the Sharp-shinned Hawk

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