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Cooper’s Hawk  

Scientific Name: Accipiter cooperii       

Species Ambassador:


Sheldon was hit by a car in Lowell and brought in to Blandford Nature Center in 2002. He suffered severe damage to his right wing, which had to be amputated. He is also missing some talons and would not be able to hunt for food or escape predators in the wild, so he has become a permanent resident at Blandford.

Status of Cooper's Hawk in Michigan

The Cooper’s Hawk is a species of special concern in Michigan.  This means that their populations are declining and that they could soon become endangered in our state.


They make a fast cac-cac-cac-cac or kek-kek-kek call.

Click below to hear a pair of Cooper’s Hawks!


Cooper’s Hawks enjoy forests consisting of oak and hickory trees with pine trees scattered about.  They also prefer to have a field nearby for hunting.


Cooper’s Hawks eat small mammals such as mice and other small rodents as well as songbirds. They will catch songbirds in flight, or grab squirrels and chipmunks from the ground with their deadly talons.  They have also been known to eat frogs, snakes and large insects.

The Role of Cooper's Hawks in Our Ecosystems

Cooper’s Hawks help to keep small rodent, songbird and large insect populations from growing to unmanageable sizes.

Threats to Cooper's Hawks

Habitat destruction is the biggest threat to Cooper’s Hawks. The extreme thinning of woods for highway construction, home building and other man-made structures have reduced suitable nesting habitat area.

How We Can Help Cooper's Hawks

-If possible, avoid thinning out forests to build homes.

-Help keep track of Cooper's Hawk populations by reporting any sightings to the Michigan          Natural Features Inventory at 517-373-1552.

Interesting Facts

-Do not harm Cooper’s Hawks.  They are protected by law!

-Cooper’s Hawks have short rounded wings allowing them to easily maneuver through dense      forested areas.

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