Cooper's Hawk
(Accipiter cooperii)


Picture of bird
© Dan Busby
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

This secretive breeder is found across the southern-most parts of Canada's forests and woodlots, and throughout the United States. Results from the Breeding Bird Survey indicate that the population has changed little since about 1970. Although once designated by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as Special Concern, it was re-assessed as Not at Risk in 1996. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.


Listing of the main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least Concern2012 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2010 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic areaStatusReliability
CanadaLittle ChangeMedium

Population estimate

Canada50,000 to 500,000 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation of world population


Conservation and management

The species declined markedly through the mid-1900s due to the use of organochlorine pesticides, as well as from trapping and shooting (Curtis et al. 2006). With the reduction of these threats in the latter half of the century and the species' ability to exploit human-altered landscapes, the Cooper's Hawk population has recovered and is currently thriving (Curtis et al. 2006), though at low densities. Once considered a scarce and local breeder in Ontario, the species is now widespread throughout southern parts of the province (Gahbauer 2007a).


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Northern Pacific RainforestNorthern Pacific Rainforest, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon Region