1. December 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm | permalink

    A Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) perhaps? Grey wings and back with a white and brown stripped chest?

  2. December 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm | permalink

    Re: [1] Ben, here’s a poor resolution photo of a bird I figured might be a Cooper’s Hawk, which I noticed in my neighborhood last week. Is there enough detail there for you to identify it? [photo]

  3. December 30, 2010 at 8:48 pm | permalink

    Got those in my area. The squirrels get nervous. (Chest is striped, not stripped.)

  4. By Bear
    December 30, 2010 at 11:30 pm | permalink

    I don’t know about cooper’s hawks, but we have a healthy population of red-tailed hawks in the area. I have noticed them over the past few years, observing juveniles as well as adults. And have you noticed the pigeon population in the downtown ann arbor area has gone to nil? Used to be a lot of pigeons that would compete with sparrows for the bread crumbs i would feed them. Now I don’t really see any pigeons around anymore. At least not downtown or on the west side.

  5. By Bear
    December 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm | permalink

    If it seemed to be a large hawk, it would be a red-tail. Coopers hawks are small to medium sized hawks…

  6. By Bear
    December 30, 2010 at 11:39 pm | permalink

    Red-tailed Hawk [link]

    Cooper’s Hawk [link]

  7. By Bear
    December 30, 2010 at 11:41 pm | permalink

    to tell the truth, I’ve truly enjoyed watching the hawk population grow in the ann arbor area. I’ve seen them and heard them in the neighborhoods on the west side, observed them around the parking structures in the downtown area and watched them in the trees and sky around the arb. Beautiful and magnificent creatures. There is also supposed to be a pair fo peregrine falcons in/around burton tower on campus, but I haven’t seen them yet.

  8. December 31, 2010 at 4:14 am | permalink

    A while back (in much warmer weather), I saw one of the peregrines perched on a low branch of the big tree right by the back door of the UM Fleming Administration building’s–eating lunch, and a very messy meal it was, too, with pigeon feathers flying all over and bits and pieces of bird dropping to the ground.

  9. By Spencer
    December 31, 2010 at 10:23 am | permalink

    It was about pigeon-sized. After it landed, I had to see its beak to be sure it was a hawk (although it certainly flew like a hawk and not a pigeon). Coopers are about the right size, I guess. I tried for a photo with my phone, but the quality wasn’t good enough to really distinguish anything.

  10. By Rod Johnson
    December 31, 2010 at 10:57 am | permalink

    After a couple unpleasant pigeon incidents in Nickels Arcade, I am firmly on Team Hawk.

  11. January 2, 2011 at 11:41 pm | permalink


    It’s hard to tell with the high contrast, but based on the tail, looks too long for it to be a Red-tailed. I want to believe it’s a Cooper’s Hawk, but it’s hard to say. I’ve seen them around town near the Y and on campus. Here is an equally inconclusive photograph: link

  12. By George Hammond
    January 5, 2011 at 11:54 am | permalink

    There has been a pair of Peregrine Falcons roosting on Burton Tower and around the University Medical Center for several years. I think they get the most credit for chasing away the pigeons — peregrines are very fast, strong flyers, and hunt other birds on the wing in the open. Some of the staff at the UM Museum of Zoology have been collecting the scraps that accumulate around the base of the tower, and have found some interesting patterns.

    These birds haven’t successfully nested yet, and no one knows for sure what the problem is. I’ve heard that the DNR may be planning to put up a nesting platform on a building at the Medical Center to help.

    Several pairs of Cooper’s Hawks do nest in the city (something that has only occurred in the last thirty years or so). I think there is nest in Eberwhite Woods, among other places. These hawks also prey mainly on birds, but they are ambushers that hunt from cover. They do eat pigeons (and starlings, mourning doves, and other medium-sized birds), but probably don’t go after flocks of pigeons in the open. These hawks are built for more maneuverability and less speed.

    Red-tailed Hawks are found around the city too, there has been a nest in the Arb for years. They are generalists that mainly attack prey on the ground. In our area they probably take mostly rabbit and rodents (mice, voles, young woodchucks, maybe tree squirrels).