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Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-09-04
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon Eos 300D Digital Rebel, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Selen's Favorites, Birds of Prey- RAPTORS (II), Birds' interaction with different bird species [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-03-05 7:02
Viewed: 15887
Favorites: 4 [view]
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This sharp-shinned hawk was captured making a quick lunch of a sparrow. I witnessed him take this sparrow in mid flight.
Sharp-shinned Hawk
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Falconiformes

Family: Accipitridae

Genus: Accipiter

Species: A. striatus
The Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) is a small hawk.

Adults have short broad wings and a long square-ended tail with dark bands. They have a dark cap, blue-grey upperparts and white underparts with red bars. Mature birds have dark red eyes and yellow legs. Adult females are slightly larger. They are easily mistaken for the slightly larger and lankier Cooper's Hawk.

Their breeding habitat is forested areas across most of North America and parts of Central America, although they are more common in the boreal forest. They build a stick nest in a large conifer or dense group of deciduous trees.

In some parts of the United States, they are permanent residents. Northern birds migrate to the southern U.S. and south to South America.

These birds surprise and capture small birds from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation. They often pluck the feathers off their prey on a post or other perch. They also eat rodents, lizards, frogs, snakes, and large insects.

This bird declined in numbers in the 1960s and 1970s, probably as a result of the use of DDT and other pesticides. Their population rebounded since and might even exceed historical numbers today. This is probably due to the combination of the ban on DDT and the proliferation of backyard birdfeeders in North America which create unnaturally reliable and easy prey for Accipiters.

These hawks build their nests in trees 10-60 feet from the ground, laying 4-5 bluish spotted eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 35 days. The young leave the nest after 2 months.

SelenE, fthsm, PaulH, shal, elroyie, Raptorman, JoseMiguel, snowfalken, Tamrock, uleko, marhowie, jaycee, bobair, saeedabbasi, coasties, Ken52, Shoot_Score, daveman, dalmatinac has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To daveman: Hi DaveAdanac 1 06-23 22:15
To Shoot_Score: NopeAdanac 3 03-12 17:38
To snowfalken: ThanksAdanac 1 03-05 19:39
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Critiques [Translate]

Nice shot!
Cruel but this is natures way.
I love it for the drama and the details. Nice non-intrusive background.
Congratulations on this one!

  • Great 
  • fthsm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 56 N: 512] (3689)
  • [2007-03-05 7:17]

It is not possible to resist to this photo. This is wonderful, excellent. Really good action with perfect technique details.
Thanks, many many thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-03-05 7:20]

Hi Rick,
Great action shot with very good timing. Focus, sharpness and the light is also very good. TFS

hi rick,
great action shot, well seen and captured,
composed finely with good sharpness and fine details,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-03-05 7:33]

Excellent documentation of a kill. Amazing look in the hawk's eye. Sharp and good detail. Very well done.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-03-05 7:39]

Hi Rick,

well, i don't really have much to add to whats already been said about this, it's fantastic. It is a great demonstration of the food chain in action and shows just who's at the top in the pecking order and who unfortunate enough to be further down. Quality stuff as usual.



  • Great 
  • shal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 256 W: 64 N: 481] (2140)
  • [2007-03-05 7:42]

Hi Rick,
you have a spectacular capture here,
the image portrays the rule of Nature, If your not the Preditor then your are the prey,
Cheers :D

This is an excellent capture, very well done!
I don't have nothing to add, I wish it was my capture... :) :) :)

Hello Rick ,this is a magnificient wildlife photo , good luck.

Hi Rick,
So this is nature, not always a pleasant image to look at!
You had an excellent light and took good advantaje of it.
It's very good the DOF managed and the blurred background got.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

Hello Rick,

Just wonderful! This is a real TN photo, depicting a scene from the life of a wild animal! You were very lucky to witness such a scene!
The composition is very good showing the birds in an excellent pose against a neutral and blurred background. Having both birds with the faces lit by the sunlight and their portraits visible in the picture are great assets. The only minor flaw I found is the central position of the subjects within the frame. But this is just my personal taste and the beauty of this shot remains untouched.
I like photos with few colors but rich in color tones and yours fits this category. The background in the same color tones as the subjects looks awesome and helps isolating the birds. The excellent sharpness in the foreground contrasts with the softness in the background, adding to this isolation and making the great details stand out.
Very good job on the exposure too! The outstanding camera work rendered well exposed details both in shadows and highlights. The shadows are soft and give away the fact that the picture was taken at the right moment within two hours after sunrise or before sunset. Poor little bird! It doesn't even know that its sacrifice allowed such a great photo to be taken! Well done with great notes! An excellent post and definitely a favorite! Thank you!

With Friendly Regards,

hello rick!
the true nature!
very good with great lightning
and very good sharpness
nice pov and dof
lovely background to
congrat to a great shot!

  • Great 
  • kag Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 36 W: 0 N: 20] (106)
  • [2007-03-05 8:57]

Hello Rick, Excellent photo, you were so lucky to get this shot, great colour, great detail, great focus. TFS.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-03-05 8:59]

Hello Rick,
Brilliant and well-timed capture of this scene.
Sad, but that's life! I like the pose on this pole and sharpness and colours are perfect. The background blurr matches as well. Well done!
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-03-05 9:12]

Hi Rick,

A great capture with stunning sharpness and colors,you are a lucky guy to see the event of the catch and that he made his lunch with you in the neighbourhood as well,excellent camera work,TFS


Hi Ric,
Oh my goodness. This is a frightening site. You are a very lucky person to witness this scene. Excellant capture though. Perfect focus. Nice warm colors. Excellant details and sharpeness. The composition is just Wow. Excellant.


  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2007-03-05 9:32]

Hi Rick,

Waauw, this one is supersharp. Great actionshot. You were there at the right time. My compliments!


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-03-05 11:05]

Hi Rick,

Nature can be so cruel. I can't believe you got such a magnificently sharp shot of this. Wonderful photography.


Great well timed shot we all get lucky it was your turn this day Colors i like Sharpness i like the only thing i dont like is i did not take the foto Great work Rick


Amazing image of survival of the fittest. This moment captures life and death at the same time and is so mesmerising to the human eye. The detail is superb and I congratulate you on your skill and patience to get this right. I'm pretty sure this wasn't an opportunity shot and you had prepared for this moment in advance.

Great shot I think it is extremely powerful.


bonjour rick
cette capture est remarquable,pour vous comme pour l'oiseau.
bravo tout est bien sur cette photo.

ooooh mannnn! PG18 V.
but this is nature's way of keeping balance.
brilliant shot. TFS!

HI Rick,
what can I say gruesome but neat,I just can't take my eyes off this well presented photo.The details are sharp and that background is superb! You have done it again and thanks for this upload.I have never seen one of these hawks until now.I hope to see and photo one of these raptors myself. Bob

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-03-05 22:47]

Hello Rick

Super capture,That's one anyone would want in their gallery.Excellent timing ,POV and DOF.The details are sharp and the BG is lovely.TFS


Hi dear Rick ,
Excellent documentation .
great details and colours.
excellent BG and sharpness.
well doen.
thanks dear Rick.

Hi Rick

Awesome work, although, sad to see his lunch is a favourite of mine, a Sparrow, the capture is brilliant with high quality. :-)

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-03-06 3:32]

Wow, what drama, Rick.
A fantastic action capture. You must have been thrilled!
The details are fantastic... sharp and well exposed.
Perfect POV and composition.
A real winner!
TFS. : )

WHoooo! This is an amazing capture! How come you couldn't take it in-flight, lol? Sometimes pictures look good event if they are witness of other animal's suffering. Well seen and again, this is a great wild life's testimony, an almost aesthetic one I would say... Look at the expression in its eyes... Thank

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-03-06 22:33]

WOW! What a great capture for you and the hawk. But not so nice for the sparrow. Excellent wildlife shot show nature take it's course. Very nice exposure and DOF. Beautiful neutral background! Love the intensity in the hawk's eye. A favorite!

  • Great 
  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2007-03-06 23:59]

Now there's a shot you don't see everyday, and what concentration. Very excellent capture on your part Rick. Love that eye!

Thanks, John

Hi Rick,
Nice shot, cruel but is a reality. I like the dof, the subjets contrast witch it. Shar picture.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-03-08 17:56]

Hi Rick,
Great moment, pose and excellent details and colours.
TFS, Josť m.

KAboom Rick!
For drama and for the right moment alone this is a Double-Double.
There is no other way to describe a moment that illustrated the sharper angle of Nature so vividly.

That said, if you will allow me some techie comments;
-= the shoot) the raptor is soft, its feathers are not as sharp as one would like to see
in a one in a million shot < perhaps a careful wee sharpening will take care of that >
-= the presentation) the raptor is very centrist... but unlike
Mr. H in Ottawa we can deal with that and move this specimen a wee to the left ...
-= the postprocession) I almost get the feeling that this photo was put thru CleanImage or something similar.
{ It only uses 75K out of the 200K available , and looks a bit "glib"/"shiny" < not shinny! > to me }

That said, let me again emphasize that for the learning abt. Nature alone we have a clear winner.

PS I have done the WS, the post is now close to 200Kb, and we zoomed in.

As much as I study books on Raptor ident, I would have guessed wrong that this was a Cooper's hawk. I'll add this one as a favourite, for sure. Did you find this near Brooks?


Hi Rick
Excellent composition. detail are excellent.Very nice BG
great shot

Hi Rick. Beautiful bird in prime condition. His feathers are perfect, tail included with its clean lines. A bit different from birds one sees in captivity. Excellent moment. Were you walking somewhere in open country? How close did it allow you to come? Regards. Klaudio.

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