Our smallest accipiter, the “sharpie” is a jay-size hawk that frequents backyard bird feeders in winter, bursting from nearby bushes to snatch a small bird off a branch. Although some homeowners vilify them, sharpies serve a needed function of keeping wild bird populations healthy and wary. Sexes look alike, females are larger than males, adults differ from immatures. Polytypic (10 ssp.; 3 in North America). Length 10–14"; wingspan 20–28".
A small, round-winged, long-tailed hawk of woods, edges, and mixed habitat. The tip of the tail appears square, bands are wide and straight. The head is rounded, with a distinct “notch” in the profile from crown to beak. The eye appears more centered in head. Adult: blue-gray crown and nape are same