This bird of prey was flying around our cul de sac. It is hard to identify hawks sometimes because many of them look similar and it is hard to get a good look at them. Usually the hawks we see are red-tailed hawks because they are so common here. But a quick look at this bird’s shape tells us it is something different. Also, it did not soar like a red-tailed hawk does- instead it flapped its wings quite a bit in between glides. This means it is in the Accipiter family and is either a Cooper’s Hawk or a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Cooper’s Hawks are slightly bigger than Sharp-shinned Hawks, and this one looked a little bigger to me. So, let’s say it was a Cooper’s Hawk!
Even experts have a hard time telling the difference between them, so I don’t feel badly having to guess.