Field identification tips: A large Accipiter, adults are slate-gray above with underparts of fine gray barring and a very prominent white superciliary stripe above the eye. Eye color is orange or red. Immature birds are brown with underparts streaked with brown, and a less-prominent superciliary line. Overhead immature A. atricapillus's longer secondary flight feathers form a bulge in the wings' trailing edge. Sexes are similar with females averaging larger than males.
Typical range: A permanent resident of northern forests and mountains with younger birds wandering southward in winter to mid-continent and to lower elevations.
Habitat: A. atricapillus's long tail and powerful wings provide excellent maneuverability in this bird's forest habitat where it hunts birds.