Sharp-shinned hawks are agile fliers and small, (9.4-13.4 inches) with long tails and short, rounded wings. The males are slightly larger than a blue jay, while the females, like eagles and other raptors, can be up to a third larger. This size differentiation does have an impact on the prey they can catch.
Both parents will feed their nestlings, but the males will typically be the first “responders”, with smaller prey. One unusual but typical behavior is the males will remove and eat the head of their prey before delivering to the babies.
As the nestlings grow, the mother hawk will deliver larger prey. Initially, both parents drop the dead prey into the nest, but once the young have fledged, the parents will continue to feed them for several weeks. At this time, they now begin to deliver the food in flight. They will call to the young and the fledged young will fly up to grab their food out of their parents claws.
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