Northern Goshawks are large and bold hawk of the forests. Like the other Accipiters, they are
able to pursue prey in rapid and highly maneuverable flight. Numbers of
Northern Goshawks may come well south of it's normal
range in the winter if prey populations are low. They are a widespread
species, found not only in North America, but also in much of Europe and
parts of Asia.
Habitat: Forests. Usually
in forested areas, but may be found along edges or open areas.
Prefers conifer to mixed forest, but may be in any forest type in winter.
Diet: Feeds on wide variety of
birds, including ducks, grouse, and crows, as well as small mammals such as
squirrels, snowshoe hare, lemmings, and rabbits.
Behavior: Hunts from a perch, using a quick burst
of speed to pursue and catch prey that comes within range.
March through June
Migration: Some migration southward in winter from normal range in Canada, New England,
and the U.S. Rockies. Some permanent residents in the Black Hills.
Similar Species: Juveniles can be difficult to distinguish from
Cooper's Hawk or
Sharp-shinned Hawk, although adults
are usually distinctive, with the gray barring underneath.
Conservation Status: Populations may be increasing and ranges
expanding, especially in the northeastern United States. In other
areas, loss of habitat is resulting in local declines.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Northern Goshawk"
eNature.com: Northern Goshawk
Photo Information: January
26th, 2002 -- Newton Hills State Park -- Terry L. Sohl