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half-dutch

ID question about city hawks

6 posts in this topic

Last evening in a park in Edina, the grackles started to raise a real ruckus. They were chasing some bird just a bit bigger than they were, which turned out to be some kind of hawk. I would have guessed goshawk, since it seemed a little small for a peregrine, but I am no expert on these things... for sure no expert. No pictures either, sorry.

The question is whether there are goshawks in the Twin Cities metro? I had always heard that they were supposed to be more restricted to undeveloped areas, the true wild. But then they used to say that about loons, too. Whatever it was it was quite comfortable moving around through heavy branches and it was definitely a hawk not an owl.

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Did it have a longish tail for a hawk? A sharp-shinned hawk is a city as well as rural dweller, and is amazing at flying through shrubby growth when looking for a meal.

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I saw the tail both closed and fanned (it had wide bars which doesn't necessarily mean anything). It did not seem overly long or overly short

Best guess at this point was sharp shin like you suggest, although it was bigger than some of the descriptions I find of them and it reminds me more of the pictures I find of the Cooper's. I expect it was one of the two which is probably good enough for the crowd I hang out with... It was definitely larger than the grackles that were harassing it, though not by a great deal. They contented themselves with mobbing it from tree to tree, but they didn't follow it into the heavy branches it took shelter in, eventually it slipped away from their attention.

Thanks

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The barred tail sounds right, and fanned, it doesn't seem overly long. I'm not good at deciphering between Coopers and Sharp Shinneds. I always assume the SS because they are more common, I guess. And mine are always larger than described in books. Definitely larger than a grackle. Maybe because they are so well fed on my bird population. Maybe someone else will come in with some other ideas.

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Thanks again. Probably a sharp shin. That looks like the best guess.

It was definitely human shy and wouldn't let me get close enough to get a good look at it perched. So I think that is good enough for my purposes.

I keep getting surprised by the amount of real wildlife we have in our city parks and backyards. It seems to me that our urban wildlife is increasing, and that feels good.

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Quote:
I keep getting surprised by the amount of real wildlife we have in our city parks and backyards. It seems to me that our urban wildlife is increasing, and that feels good.

I agree Half-Dutch. In the last month I've seen a lot of turkeys & deer near Southdale in Edina. I've also seen pheasants, fox, otters, opossum, bald eagles, hawks, loons, trumpeter swans, flying squirrels & lot more within the Mpls. city limits. There's an amazing variety of wildlife in the city right now.

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