Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk in a clearing close to Patuxent Branch Trail. I saw a similar hawk the prior day just outside the apartment window but flew off when I went to get my camera. While out birding the next day closer to the trail, I was observing some sparrows in brush in the clearing for about 10 minutes when I saw something larger (and not as dark) as a crow flying and perched up on a tree nearby. It had a gray back so I assumed it was a cooper's hawk. I shot about 20 pictures of it over two minutes or so. When I pulled my camera down to change a setting, it was already gone in that few second span and I had no idea which direction it went.

When I was double-checking I had the right hawk species, it was a very close tie between a cooper's and a sharp-skinned hawk. It took me about 10 minutes back and forth comparing images before the cooper's hawk won. It had some notable differences. I had to do a bit of post-processing on this to bring out the red eyes.

Lens - Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD @ 400m on Nikon D5500