Balcony Perch

AccipiterI saw a pair of Pigeons, but my companion saw something else in their general vicinity. We were down below the rise of the Heights in Brooklyn Bridge Park, looking up to where the swells live. The hawk was perched on the top balcony, facing in, but with that wonderfully flexible neck glance backwards and sideways and all around the town, as well as the harbor. Was anybody home in that apartment? What a view they would have had!Accipiter AccipiterAn adult Accipiter. But was it cooperii or striatus? I had a tough time with this bird. The Accipters are one of the harder bird identification problems. Seemed like a straight-edged tail with relatively thin white terminal band on it (Sharpie). But the head sure looked darker than the back (Coop), at least in most of my pictures. AccipiterThe bird made a quick sortie out over the park and back into the trees beside this building, its tail looking very straight-edged. A single bold Starling gave it the what-for.

I called it, tentatively, as a female Sharpie. But let me be the first to admit that identifying the species is not the be-all and end-all of the experience.

UPDATED: Readers beg to differ. See comments below.

2 Responses to “Balcony Perch”


  1. 1 Shannon February 24, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Judging from the rounded tail, it looks more like a Coop to me. Sharpie tails are squared at the end. Too bad you don’t have any flight photos. That usually seals the deal as their heads hold differently on their bodies. Nice pics!

  2. 2 Shayna February 25, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I’d go with Coop too… for me, the tail’s always a tough field mark (especially since the band of white can vary with feather wear). This bird seems to have a bigger, squarer head that a Sharpie, and the cap vs. hood on the back that you mention lead to Coop too. Great bird to be outside somebody’s window–wish I’d had the view from inside!


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