Hawk, Northern Goshawk

Northern GoshawkLatin name: Accipiter gentilis

Length, wingspan: 21″, 41″

What they eat: Carnivorous (birds, mammals)

Plants that attract: Forests and woodlands, bird activity at feeding stations

Where they nest: Tall, dense trees in secluded areas

My observations: The Northern Goshawk is the largest of the three Accipiters (the others being Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks). If you are looking for a stealthy bird, this is it! They are very secretive and downright sneaky. They eat birds of all sizes, the occasional reptile, and mammals such as squirrels and rabbits. Immature Goshawks are brown in color, while mature adults change to dark gray plumage with a lighter gray speckled breast; they also have a white eyebrow and develop reddish eyes. Considering how secretive they are, we do see them in our garden, primarily in winter, and we consider it a privilege.

Northern GoshawkThe photo to the left is of a mature Goshawk; notice the white brow. It was perched above our bird feeders on a winter’s day, which I’m sure just thrilled the little birds! (not)



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