Sharp-shinned hawks are a member of the genus Accipiter. Accipiters have rounded wings, like other hawks, but their wings are shorter and their tails are longer. These adaptations help to give Accipiters more maneuverability.
Maneuverability is very important for sharpies since most of their prey is small song birds. Often a sharpie will be forced to chase a passerine a short way, maneuvering through trees and brush, before it catches its prey. To help avoid a lengthy chase the sharpie often will use cover to allow it to get close, with out being detected, and then it will ambush the prey.