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Sharp-Shinned Hawk (70)
Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
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.

Altered Image #1

Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Zoom in on hawk & prey
Edited by:Shoot_Score Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 445 W: 302 N: 670] (2376)

Thanx for sending original Rick
It's large < over 3000 pixels wide >

Following steps were followed:
1) crop to abt. 2500 wide
2) crop height accordingly
3) scale at 30%, compression / quality factor 100%
4) caption, reducing quality factor to get to just under 200Kb

I checked the colours, contrast etc. I think the original is the better "mood". It could be lightened a wee, but that does not improve the photo < imv >

I hope this presentation does this fantastic shot even more justice.Thanx for letting me "play" with it.