Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Elusive Northern Goshawk

The Northern Goshawk:

"Northern Goshawk is the largest and scarcest of the North American accipiters, making it sought after by birders. They nest in coniferous forest across northern North America. Although they are typically not seen south of Pennsylvania during summer, they nest throughout the mountainous areas of the western states and into Mexico. Even though widespread they are never dense. Goshawk is notoriously aggressive toward intruders near their nest, and defend them relentlessly and loudly! Biologists conducting nest research are wary and wear protective gear or face bloody consequences.
Unlike the other accipiters, Goshawk eats mammals (including squirrels and hares) equally as much as birds (i.e. flickers, jays, Grouse, Ptarmigan). They are seldom encountered except at a few hawk migration sites... They are vocal, emitting a loud, screaming "Kak-Kak-Kak...", slower, louder, and deeper than Cooper's Hawk. Females approach the size and bulk of Red-tailed Hawk, but males not much larger than female Cooper's Hawk."  Information taken from Hawk Watch International.

There has been a pair of Northern Goshawks that have nested in Miller Canyon (Huachuca Mountains) for several years. And for several years I have tried to find them without luck. But persistence can pay off. And it did this year. The female never left her nest, but the male would perch from one tree to another. Here are some photos:

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