Northern Goshawk: Large hawk with slate blue-gray to nearly black upperparts and very finely barred and streaked pale gray underparts. Head is dark with thick, white eyebrows and red eyes. Tail is paler gray with three or four dark bands. Alternates rapid wing beats with glides, soars on thermals.
Range and Habitat
Northern Goshawk: Found in much of the northern hemisphere, from near the timber line in the north to as far south as sub-tropical regions; northern birds migrate during winter. Preferred habitats include dense coniferous and deciduous forests.
The Northern Goshawk has a large range, estimated globally at 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 square kilometers. Native to North America, Europe, and Asia, this bird prefers forest and grassland ecosystems, though it can live in urban areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Northern Goshawk is Least Concern.
The Northern Goshawk is well known for its fierce defense of its nest. It commonly attacks people and other animals that approach the nest too closely.
Attila the Hun wore an image of this bird on his helmet.
The name "goshawk" comes from the Old English words gos, meaning goose, and hafoc meaning hawk. It is pronounced as if the words are still separate, without any "sh" sound.
A group of goshawks has many collective nouns, including a "couple and a half", "flight", "glare", and "gross" of goshawks.