Northern Goshawk


The Northern Goshawk has a blue-gray head, back, wings, and tail. Its throat, breast, and belly are white with blue-gray streaks. The most striking features of the goshawk, besides its robust appearance and power, are its blood red eyes. The Goshawk is the largest member of the Accipiter hawk family in North America (Females can measure 25 inches in length). Accipiters are long-tailed, short-winged hawks that often feed on birds. As is the case with all accipiters, the female goshawk is substantially larger than the male. Cooper's Hawk and the Sharp-Shinned Hawk are the other North American Accipiters.

The Northern Goshawk is one of the most powerful predators to haunt the northern woods. A bird of deep forests, the goshawk ambushes its prey. Like a heat-seeking missile, the goshawk has the ability to fly between branches, through narrow passages, and around brush at frightening speeds. The Northern Goshawk's diet consists of small mammals, and small and medium sized birds. The Ruffed Grouse is often taken.
Range and Habitat

The Northern Goshawk is a rare hawk of northern boreal forests. In the Appalachian Mountains, the goshawk may be found in dense, deciduous woodlands. The Goshawk is found throughout the forested regions of Canada, the Rocky Mountain west, and northern sections of the Appalachian Mountains. It may also be found in Europe and Asia.


The Goshawk is rare and elusive.