Sharp-shinned Hawk 2

NAME: Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
FAMILY: Accipitridae
ORDER: Accipitriformes

Click on any photo to enlarge.

The Sharp-shinned Hawk resides in this area, and all of Texas, in winter time. In this first photo, notice the big orange eye with the black pupil. If you look even closer you see the thin yellow eye-ring. It has a gray beak with yellow at the base. (28 Feb 2013)

This little hawk came and perched in the large Post Oak tree not far outside my window. It is such a small hawk that until I looked through the telephoto lens, I had no idea it was a raptor. This species is the smallest hawk in North America. Notice the white and light rusty-colored horizontal bars across its chest above a white belly. (28 Feb 2013)

It soon moved down to another branch as it continued to look around, monitoring the ground more than anything. (28 Feb 2013)

I followed it with my lens to this 3rd location in the tree, where it provided a better look at it’s back side. As you can see, it is gray all down the back from the top of its head to its tail. The tail feathers have a few horizontal dark stripes. The black stripe across the head is just a shadow of a nearby branch. (28 Feb 2013)

This hawk flew to yet another location in the tree, a smaller branch that affords a better view of its long, thin, yellow legs. You can also see a bit of the feet and a couple claws. (28 Feb 2013)

Here’s a full back view. If you are not an expert birder, due to the small size of this raptor it can look like any other small to medium bird hanging out in your yard. (28 Feb 2013)

This is the final pose I got before it swiftly and skillfully took off, maneuvering through the trees to a more distant and dense wood, too distant for my lens to capture. (28 Feb 2013)

Below are two photos from January of the Sharp-shinned Hawk in flight above my house. (17 Jan 2013)

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