The Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) is a large raptor species found in the Northern Hemisphere. It is known for its size, powerful flight, and predatory behavior. Adult Northern Goshawks typically measure between 20-26 inches in length and have a wingspan of 40-46 inches. They are larger than their close relative, the Cooper’s Hawk, and are similar in size to a Red-tailed Hawk.
Northern Goshawks have a distinctive appearance with their slate grey back and wings, while their underparts are white with fine, horizontal grey bars. They have a black cap and bold white eyebrow that distinguishes them from other raptor species. Females are larger than males and have a more pronounced eyebrow. Juvenile Northern Goshawks have brown backs and wings and a streaked breast.
In terms of weight, male Northern Goshawks typically weigh between 1.1-1.5 pounds, while females can weigh between 1.7-3.1 pounds. The weight difference is due to sexual dimorphism, with females being significantly larger than males. The Northern Goshawk is a powerful predator and is known for its hunting prowess. They prey on a variety of animals including birds, mammals, and reptiles, with the majority of their diet being made up of birds such as grouse and pigeons.
Northern Goshawks are a migratory species, with populations in the northern parts of their range moving south for the winter. In North America, they breed from Alaska to Newfoundland and south to the northern United States, with non-breeding individuals found throughout the western and southern United States. They are also found in parts of Europe, Asia, and northern Africa.
Overall, the Northern Goshawk is an impressive and powerful species that plays an important role in maintaining ecological balance in their range. With their striking appearance and hunting abilities, they are a sought-after species for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.