Friday, December 21, 2007

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Since I've been busy with 3 different Christmas Bird Counts for the past week (Austin, Port Aransas, and the Guadalupe River Delta), I haven't had time to go birding in our neighborhood lately. So I was thrilled to get this beautiful photo of a Sharp-shinned Hawk from Jan Swinney. She saw the bird and took this photo in her backyard on Woodthorpe Street. This small hawk only lives here in the winter and preys mostly on other birds. Sharp-shinned Hawks are very agile fliers with short wings and a long tail to help them chase their prey through the forest canopy. They are closely related to the larger Cooper's Hawk that we also have in the neighborhood during the winter. I see these hawks in the neighborhood regularly, but I usually only get fleeting glimpses of them. Thanks Jan!

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