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