USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Cooper's Hawk -- Accipiter cooperii

RANGE: Breeds from southern British Columbia and central Alberta to southern Quebec and Maine south to Baja California, Mexico, Louisiana, central Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Winters from Washington, Colorado, and southern Minnesota to New England south through the southern United States, to Costa Rica.

STATUS: Uncommon.

HABITAT: Inhabits various types of mixed and deciduous forests and open woodlands including small woodlots, riparian woodlands in dry country, open arid pinyon woodlands, and forested mountainous regions. May use almost any type of habitat containing trees or shrubs during winter and in migration.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Mature coniferous or deciduous woodlands.

NEST: Usually nests in deciduous or coniferous trees near the edge of a wooded area, with large open fields and water nearby. Places nest from 20 to 60 feet above ground (usually 35 to 45 feet). Occasionally uses old crow nests.

FOOD: Hunts from inconspicuous perches, and catches its prey, primarily birds, by surprise. Consumes medium-sized birds such as thrushes, jays, starlings, and quail primarily but also takes smaller birds and larger birds up to the size of ruffed grouse. Also eats chipmunks, red squirrels, rabbits, other small mammals, amphibians, and insects.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Evans 1982, Heintzelman 1979, Jones 1979, Reynolds et al. 1982.

Previous Section -- Family Accipitridae
Return to Family List
Return to Contents

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Friday, 01-Feb-2013 19:20:46 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww55]