Northern Goshawk

Accipiter gentilis

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

NOGO

Code 6

ACCGEN

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Northern Goshawk has a large range, estimated globally at 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 square kilometers. Native to North America, Europe, and Asia, this bird prefers forest and grassland ecosystems, though it can live in urban areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Northern Goshawk is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Northern Goshawk: The adults are slate blue-gray to nearly black upperparts with very finely barred and streaked pale gray underparts. Head is dark with thick, white eyebrows and red eyes. Tail is paler gray with three or four dark bands. Sexes are similar, although female is usually larger. The juvenile is browner overall with bright yellow eyes. Alternates rapid wing beats with glides; soars on thermals.


Range and Habitat

Northern Goshawk: Found in much of the northern hemisphere, from near the timber line in the north to as far south as sub-tropical regions; northern birds migrate during winter. In North America, this species ranges from Alaska and northern Canada to northern California, along the Rocky Mountains, and east to the Mid-Atlantic states. Preferred habitats include dense coniferous and deciduous forests.

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Northern Goshawk SONGS AND CALLS

Northern Goshawk A1

"Ki-ki-ki-ki" alarm calls from female near nest.

Northern Goshawk P2

Begging calls from two nestlings.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"ca-ca-ca"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Northern Goshawk is well known for its fierce defense of its nest. It commonly attacks people and other animals that approach the nest too closely.
  • Attila the Hun wore an image of this bird on his helmet.
  • The name "goshawk" comes from the Old English words gos, meaning goose, and hafoc meaning hawk. It is pronounced as if the words are still separate, without any "sh" sound.
  • A group of goshawks has many collective nouns, including a "couple and a half", "flight", "glare", and "gross" of goshawks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X