We've had an immature Sharp-shinned Hawk "shopping" in the yard recently. He's still learning the ropes it seems, as he's still a little clumsy in his hunting technique, his stealthiness, and his landings.
He's been following smaller birds through somewhat dense trees and bushes. Witnessing that helps me understand why studies of woodland hawks show that almost 1/4 of them had healed fractures in the bones of their chest.
Telling sharpies apart from Cooper's Hawks can be a challenge, but one of the characteristics I look for is the thickness of their legs: Sharp-shinned Hawk legs are skinnier than the Coopers. Those skinny legs show up well in the photo above.
Telling immature from adult is easier, with the immature showing VERTICAL brown breast streaking versus the adult's HORIZONTAL orangish breast streaking. And if you're lucky, you'll see the immature's iris as somewhat yellowish versus the adult's deep red iris.
Read all our Fun Facts about Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks in my Wild Birds Unlimited Bird of the Month post.