Accipiter gentilis I

Reviewing 2017 in local raptors: this juvenile Goshawk’s month-long residence in Prospect Park has to take the prize. Note the thin white lines separating the bars on the tail: a definitive way of separating this species from the smaller Cooper’s Hawk.

Backyard and Beyond

As promised, a Northern Goshawk. Goshawks are large raptors of northern woods and mountains. It’s in the Accipiter genus, along with the Cooper’s Hawk (A. cooperii) and Sharp-shinned Hawk (A. striatus). Goshawks are rare in general, and practically unheard of New York City.But a juvenile has been spotted in Prospect Park for about a month now. Yes, I know, that’s just crazy talk! Evidently the first to spot it thought it was a female Cooper’s Hawk. I went looking for the bird a handful of times over the course of a week before the word-of-mouth striking of the accipitrine lode up on Lookout Hill. In perfect later afternoon light….Doesn’t this bird look like its standing on some feathered prey? They do eat birds (Robins, Jays, Flickers) as well as mammals (hares/rabbits, Grey Squirrels, Eastern Chipmunks), but these are actually the bird’s own feathers…

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3 Responses to “Accipiter gentilis I”

  1. 1 The Goose December 27, 2017 at 10:15 am

    The largest of the ‘true hawks’. So much power and agility, it makes my heart skip a beat.

    • 2 mthew December 28, 2017 at 7:01 am

      Cold winter watches, swiftly descending night, a brief glance in the distance were the fruit of my several earlier attempts to see this well-reported bird. Finally, a sunny afternoon, on the highest point of Prospect Park, and just perching there. A bonus was a Red-Shouldered Hawk, rather rare here, but not as rare as a Gos, and the Goshawk contending for airspace overhead.

  2. 3 Diego Lopes January 2, 2018 at 6:36 am

    This is incredible, birds are wonderful creatures! Your photos are beautiful too!

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