Sharp-shinned Hawk

1/2000, f13.0. ISO 1600, Canon EOS-1D X, EF800mm f/5.6L IS


Sharp-shinned Hawks surprise and capture most of their prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation. They are adept at navigating dense thickets, although this hunting method is often hazardous to the hawk. The great majority of this hawk's prey are small birds, especially various songbirds such as sparrows, wood-warblers, finches, wrens, nuthatches, tits, and thrushes. Birds caught range in size from a 4.4 g (0.16 oz) Anna's hummingbird to a 577 g (1.272 lb) ruffed grouse and virtually any bird within this size range is potential prey. Typically, males will target smaller birds, such as sparrows and wood-warblers, and females will pursue larger prey, such as American robins and flickers, leading to a lack of conflict between the sexes for prey. These hawks often exploit backyard bird feeders in order to target congregations of ideal prey. They often pluck the feathers off their prey on a post or other perch. Rarely, sharp-shinned hawks will also eat rodents, lizards, frogs, snakes, and large insects, the latter typically being dragonflies captured on the wing during the hawk's migration.
Boulder, Colorado
 
11/02/2015