Accipiter gentilis III

The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds (2000-05) had 130 confirmed Goshawk nests in New York state, with 170 more possible and 54 probable, a decrease from the First Atlas (1980-05). But there are no records of such for the NYC-Long Island area, which lacks the extensive tracts of forest that makes up the species’ usual habitat. They are known to be very defensive around their nests. Bad years for Snowshoe Hares and Ruffed Grouse can send Goshawks further afield. Young birds in general tend to get off-track, wandering in search of their own territory or, during migration, just getting confused. There’s plenty of food here in Prospect, of course, but lots of dangers, too: mammals poisoned by rodenticide, abandoned fishing line and hooks, off-leash dogs (Goshawks are known to crash into the underbrush and hot-foot it after prey), and the deadliest of all, humans (there was a drone flying over the Peninsula, most definitely not a model airplane field).

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