Goshawk

Goshawk

"Accipiter gentilis"

Arko is our juvenile goshawk. Although he is an imprint he is still crazy, but that is part of the charm of this type of hawk. Goshawks are the ultimate hunting partner and really what true falconry is all about. Although a peregrine is fast in a downwards stoop, nothing can prepare you for the speed of a goshawk in level flight. Their long tail and narrow wings make them super agile and quick. They are specialist bird catchers, but that won't stop them catching a rabbit or two if it gets in the way. Arko has been trained to catch a lure, so that we can demonstrate in our displays just how this bird would hunt. Being a shy raptor, most of us will never experience the sight of a goshawk in the wild, so this way you can see and feel the way you would have back in medieval Britain, when this bird would have provided most of your winter food. 

Goshawk Facts

Accipiter gentilis

TERRITORY/LOCATION

Goshawks are widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere, in Europe, Russia, North America & Canada. They are strictly woodland birds. Once primarily living in deciduous forests, they are now adapting to the extensive man-made conifer plantations, where game-breeding is rare. The population both in the UK & the US appears to be on the decline. In the US they are classified as a "Species Of Federal Concern".

HABITAT

Goshawks are birds of wild forests and tend to occur in large tracts. Across much of their range they live mainly in coniferous forests, but they may occur in deciduous hardwood forest as well.

DIET

Goshawks flash through forests chasing bird and mammal prey, pouncing silently or crashing feet first through brush to grab quarry. Goshawks eat a wider range of prey than other accipiter's, including birds, mammals, and reptiles, as well as insects and occasionally carrion.

NESTING

Goshawks nest in mature and old-growth forests with more than 60% closed canopy. Goshawks often build nests near breaks in the canopy, such as a forest trail, jeep road, or opening created by a downed tree, and prefer sites with a creek, pond, or lake nearby. Clutch size 2-5 eggs.

SIZE/WEIGHT

Length 53–64cm, wingspan 135-165cm, weighing 620-2050g

LIFE EXPECTANCY

10 years in the wild

18 years oldest recorded in the wild

DID YOU KNOW?

Goshawks are widespread but uncommon, and their secretive nature makes it hard to estimate population trends.

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