Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
What an incredible scene it was. I was spending some great time birding at the Laguna Niguel Regional Park when I saw this stunning Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) flying above me, rushing into a tree at an amazing speed! After a few seconds of fight in the tree that I could not see, it flew again above me and landed on a branch nearby. With its prey! Watching this hunting scene was really spectacular. The abilities of this jay-size raptor - the smallest hawk in North America - are incredible. Its rather short wings and long tail are great features to maneuver through trees in pursuit of small birds. It can easily be confused with the Cooper's Hawk. Click here to learn how to identify them. The Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) is widespread in North America but that does not make it less fascinating.