The Sharp-Shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) – the smallest hawk in North America – is named for the thin ridge which runs along the bird's long legs, or tarsus, giving the appearance of a sharp shin. Daring, acrobatic fliers, it has long legs, short wings, and a very long tail, which it uses for navigating at top speed in pursuit of songbirds and mice. Female Sharp-shinned Hawks are about a third bigger and heavier than males. Like a cat’s claws, Sharp-shinned Hawks use their long toes and talons to impale and hold moving prey. Sharp-shinned Hawks often pluck the feathers off their prey on a post or other perch before eating them. Adult Sharp-shinned Hawks pass food to their young in mid-air. They will hover briefly and kick the prey outward just as the fledgling arrives.