Notes on breeding sharp-shinned hawks and cooper’s hawks in Barnwell County, South Carolina

  • Authors: Vukovich, Mark; Kilgo, John C.
  • Publication Year: 2009
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Southeastern Naturalist 8(3):547-552


Breeding records of Accipiter striatus (Sharp-shinned Hawks) in the southeastern US are scattered and isolated. We documented a Sharp-shinned Hawk and Accipiter cooperii (Cooper’s Hawk) nest while conducting a telemetry study on Melanerpes erythrocephalus (Red-headed Woodpeckers) in Barnwell County, SC in 2006 and 2007. We report the first known nest of a Sharp-shinned Hawk in Barnwell County, SC and the first report of Sharp-shinned Hawks preying upon Red-headed Woodpeckers. Thirteen of 93 (13.9 %) woodpeckers were killed by accipiters in the summers of 2006 and 2007. Large, contiguous forests managed for Picoides borealis (Red-cockaded Woodpeckers) may be used by breeding Sharp-shinned Hawks. The bright plumage, loud calls, and behavior of Red headed Woodpeckers, particularly during the nestling stage, may make them conspicuous prey for accipiters.

  • Citation: Vukovich, Mark; Kilgo, John C. 2009. Notes on breeding sharp-shinned hawks and cooper’s hawks in Barnwell County, South Carolina. Southeastern Naturalist 8(3):547-552.
  • Posted Date: September 8, 2010
  • Modified Date: September 9, 2010
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