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Sharp-shinned hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Accipiter striatus

The sharp-shinned hawk is small, fiesty and a voracious eater of songbirds. It frequents rural and suburban neighborhoods, where birdfeeders create fertile hunting grounds.

They are opportunistic hunters that often act without a plan. In one Prince William suburban neighborhood, a juvenile sharp-shinned hawk once perched on the tree line 100 feet from a bird feeder (badly) placed out in the open. Anxious for a meal, the hawk made a successful dive for a bird at the feeder only to see the house 20 feet on the other side too late.

Collusions with windows and vehicles are leading causes of death, along with gunshot and predation. Common names include "sharpie" and "bird hawk." Learn more from the Cornell Lab of Ornitholoty...

Photo: Eli Hosen, intersection of N. Belvidere and W. Marshall Street, Richmond, VA; February 16 2007