I was recently out back and was surprised to find a dead juvenile Cooper's Hawk. I contacted the Ohio Division of Wildlife by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE. I then told my story about finding a dead hawk and was then transfered to someone else. I told them my story again and was (again) transfered to someone else. This time I was transfered to the district 5 wildlife office (I found it in wildlide district 5) and told him my story (again!). He said that usually they aren't infected by disease unless multiple birds of the same species are found in an area relatively close together. He also said that they usually won't study the birds for disease unless these qualifications are met. He also asked me not to keep any feathers, or any other part of the bird. He thanked me, and we both hung up.
Upon inspecting the dead hawk visually, I noticed the hawks neck was very limp, and his head fell over, while the rest of it was stiff. This indicated that it most likely broke its neck on the fence near where it was laying. If this was not the case, the neck should have been stiff.
I concluded the bird was a juvenile Cooper's Hawk. I made these assumptions based on these facts: (please see photos with explanations below)
I took a few photos for reference, and then disposed of the bird. Below are a few of the reference photos I took:
THE PICTURES WERE REMOVED BECAUSE OF THE LARGE FILE SIZE AND HARD DRIVE SPACE THEY TOOK UP.
The small size indicates a juvenile, and tge rounded tailfeathers indicate a Cooper's hawk instead of a Sharp Shinned, as well as the time of season it was found. Sharp-shinned only live in Ohio in winter.
The color on the back of the head indicate a juvenile.
The heavy streaking on the chest suggests that it is still losing some of it's juvenile streaking. Adults have less streaking.
The brown back and white spots indicate a juvenile, because adults have gray backs with no white spots.
*Please note that dead birds can make you sick and should not be handled. Also, it is illegal to keep any feathers or other parts of any bird, whether it be a songbird or bird of prey. Among illegal things to keep, eggs and bird nests are included. Look up the Eagle Feather Act.