Cooper's Hawk in Sedona, Arizona
The Cooper's hawk is a medium-sized hawk common to Sedona, Arizona. Its range is widespread, from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. As in many birds of prey, the male is smaller than the female. This beautiful hawk is easily confused with the sharp-shinned hawk. The easiest way to tell the difference is the tail: the Cooper's hawk tail is rounded at the bottom, while the sharp-shinned hawk has squared-off tail feather corners—and the tip is not rounded. Cooper's hawks often stalk small birds and rodents at ground level and typically ambush them under dense cover. One interesting note about the Cooper's hawk: they are part of the hummingbird's nesting strategy. Since hummingbirds are too small to make a good meal for a Cooper's hawk, hummingbirds nest in their territory and thereby receive protection against other predators like jays. Read more about this strange but successful relationship. For general information about Cooper's hawks, see the Wikipedia - Cooper's Hawk page.
Photo: A mature Cooper's hawk seen on Arrow Drive in Sedona, Arizona. The rich russet color of its breast feathers indicate it is an adult bird.