Thank you for visiting the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department website. www.wildlife.state.nh.us NH Fish and Game

 

 

Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii)

Cooper's hawk
Photo credit: Mcasabar @ Dreamstime.com

NH Conservation Status: Not listed

 

Federal Status: Not listed; Cooper’s hawks are legally protected in New Hampshire. Possession and take (which includes harming, harassing, injuring and killing) is illegal.

 

Distribution: Year-round resident in New Hampshire but less common in the north.

 

Description: 14-20” long with a 28-34” wingspan. Both males and females have a dark gray back and rusty barred chest. Long, banded tail is rounded when perched.

 

Voice: Both males and females make a loud, “cak-cak-cak” that lasts between 2-5 seconds during the breeding season. Other times of year mostly silent.

 

Commonly Confused Species: Sharp-shinned hawk’s tail is square when perched.

 

coopers hawk

Habitat: Mature hardwood, softwood and mixed forests, including small woodlots and suburban forests.

 

Nesting: Cooper’s hawks begin reproducing at 2 years old. Nests are built in the canopy of coniferous or deciduous trees and will often use old crow nests. Females typically lay 3-6 eggs between mid April and mid June. Chicks hatch after 30-36 days of incubation and can fly after another 30-36 days in the nest.

 

Diet: Primarily on small to medium sized birds and small mammals.

 

More Information: Cooper’s Hawk Profile in the NH Wildlife Action Plan PDF Document