Cooper’s Hawk interesting facts

Cooper’s Hawk

Have you ever seen a Cooper’s Hawk? They are beautiful birds and quite common in the Chicago area. In this post, we will learn more about these hawks, including their diet and behavior. We will also discuss some of the threats that Cooper’s Hawks face and what we can do to help protect them. So if you’re interested in learning more about these stunning raptors, keep reading!

Cooper’s Hawk scientific name

The Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii) is a medium-sized hawk native to North America. The scientific name of Cooper’s hawk is Accipiter cooperii. The allusion is to William Cooper, an early naturalist in the United States. The specific epithet cooperii is traditionally treated as a Latinized form of Cooper’s last name, although the original name was given by French ornithologist Louis Dufresnoy in 1817 was Accipiter cooperi using the Latin genitive case of his last name. Cooper’s hawk belongs to the genus Accipiter, which contains small to medium-sized hawks, often called “true hawks.”

However, the use of “true hawk” in this context is somewhat misleading, as many birds known colloquially as “hawks,” such as eagles and harriers, are not members of this genus. The adult Cooper’s hawk has crow-like dark feathers on its back and wings, with a light-colored breast streaked with dark bars. Its head is round with a white throat and eyebrows that meet above its large, hooked beak. Adult females are larger than males.

Cooper’s Hawk physical appearance

Cooper’s hawk is a medium-sized hawk. Adults are about the same size as a crow. They have long, rounded tails and relatively short, broad wings. Cooper’s hawk is sexually dimorphic, meaning that males and females look different. Males are typically smaller than females and have blue-gray upper parts with rusty barring on the underside.

Females are brown with rusty barring on the upper and lower sides. Both sexes have yellow eyes and dark streaks on face. Cooper’s hawks range in size from about 10 to 20 inches in length and weigh between 8 and 24 ounces. They are found throughout North America, except for the far north. They inhabit forests, woodlands, and urban areas.

Cooper’s Hawk habitat

Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii) is a medium-sized hawk of the accipitrid family. It ranges across most of North America, from Canada to Panama. Cooper’s hawks are also found in parts of Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands. The northernmost limit of its range is dictated by the availability of prey, as this hawk depends on avian prey for food. The southernmost limit of its range is thought to be determined by climate, as Cooper’s hawks require a warm climate in order to maintain their body temperature. This species is found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, marshes, and urban areas.

However, it prefers habitats with dense vegetation, as this provides good cover for hunting. Cooper’s hawks typically nest in trees, but they will also use shrubs or cliffs if trees are unavailable. This species is sexually dimorphic, with males and females having different plumage. The male Cooper’s hawk has blue-gray upper parts and a rusty breast, while the female has brown upper parts and a buff-colored breast. Both sexes have a striped tails and yellow eyes.

Cooper’s Hawk behavior

Cooper’s hawks are a species of bird of prey that are known for their hunting prowess. These birds are incredibly efficient predators and will often take down prey much larger than themselves. One of the reasons for their success is their behavior. Cooper’s hawks are very stealthy and will often approach their prey from behind without being seen. This allows them to get close enough to strike with lethal precision.

Additionally, Cooper’s hawks are patient hunters and will often perch in wait for hours until the perfect opportunity arises. When it comes to hunting, these birds leave nothing to chance. Thanks to their unique behavior, Cooper’s hawks are able to successfully take down a wide variety of prey, making them one of the most fearsome predators in the bird world.

Cooper’s Hawk diet

Cooper’s Hawks are fierce predators that can take down prey much larger than themselves. In fact, their diet consists of almost anything that moves, including small mammals, reptiles, birds, and even large insects. While they typically hunt from a perch, they are also known to stalk their prey through the underbrush. Once they have their target in sight, they will swoop down and strike with deadly precision.

Cooper’s Hawks are remarkable hunters, and their diet reflects this fact. By preying on such a wide variety of animals, they are able to adapt to changes in the environment and ensure that they will always have a food source. As a result, Cooper’s Hawks are one of the most successful predators in the world.

Cooper’s Hawk interesting facts

The Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii) is a medium-sized hawk native to North America. The bird is also sometimes known as the chicken hawk due to its habit of preying on chickens and other small birds. Here are some interesting facts about this fascinating bird of prey:

  1. Cooper’s hawk is a member of the Accipiter genus, which contains all the world’s sparrow hawks and goshawks.
  2. Cooper’s hawk is one of the most common hawks in North America.
  3. The bird was named after the naturalist William Cooper, who first described it in 1828.
  4. Cooper’s hawk is sexually dimorphic, meaning that males and females have different plumage.
  5. The female Cooper’s hawk is about 25% larger than the male.
  6. Cooper’s hawk can reach speeds of up to 60 mph when in flight.
  7. The bird typically hunts by perching in a tree and waiting for prey to come within range, at which point it will swoop down and strike with lethal force.
  8. While chickens are a favorite food of Cooper’s hawk, the bird will also eat reptiles, rodents, and even insects.

Cooper’s Hawk reproduction

All Cooper’s Hawks go through the same life cycle and reproduce in a similar way. First, the eggs are laid in a nest. Once the chicks hatch, they are tended to by their parents. After a period of time, the chicks fledge and leave the nest. They then learn to hunt and live on their own. Reproduction occurs when a male and female Cooper’s Hawk come together and mate. The female will then lay eggs in a nest, and the cycle begins anew. This is the Cooper’s Hawk life cycle in a nutshell!

Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk threats and predators

Cooper’s Hawks are fierce predators, hunting all sorts of prey, including small mammals, reptiles, and even other birds. However, these birds are not without their own predators. Common Cooper’s Hawk predators include other raptors such as Bald Eagles and Great Horned Owls, as well as terrestrial predators such as Bobcats and Foxes. In addition to natural predators, Cooper’s Hawks also face threats from humans, including habitat loss and vehicle collisions. Although these birds are formidable hunters, they are vulnerable to the dangers posed by both nature and humans.


How can you tell a Cooper’s Hawk?

The Cooper’s Hawk adults possess thick dark bands on the tails. They are steely blue-grey-colored above with warm reddish-colored bars on the underparts. However, the juveniles are brown-colored above and crispy steaked on the upper.


The Cooper’s Hawk is a beautiful bird that you may see soaring through the skies in your area. These hawks are amazing hunters and can take down prey much larger than themselves. If you happen to see one of these hawks, be sure to admire its beauty and appreciate all it does for our environment.

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About the Author: Kinsey Locke

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