Small Raptor

A Raptor

Small Coopers Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, or maybe a Merlin? Hanging out where a forested area meets an agricultural field, any of them could be at home here.

Small Raptor
Small Raptor

The features that CornellLab’s All About Birds uses to distinguish the Merlin from the Sharp-shinned Hawk require flight or at least other angles. The Sharp-shinned Hawk has short, rounded wings and  a very long tail. The Merlin has sharply pointed wings, a broad chest, and a medium length tail. Then there are the sex and age variations to confuse the ID.

Small Raptor
Small Raptor

It may come down to the “bluntness” of the face: the Merlin, a falcon, has a blunt face and the hawks are more pointy.

Small Raptor
Small Raptor

This fellow stayed put even after I took his photo and had moved on.

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