Take Flight with The Crossley ID Guide: Northern Goshawk

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A straight-forward composite plate from The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors showing the Northern Goshawk up-close and at a distance against a backdrop of their favored habitat–coniferous forests.

Goshawks inhabit dense evergreen forest during the nesting season and are usually not found far from forest at any season. They usually stay well hidden, sitting quietly, and will often hunt from perches. They use healthy coniferous trees to support their nest, and are quite vocal and aggressive defending their territories. They may even swoop on and strike people who happen upon their nest—they are not to be messed with! Adults are blue on top and whitish gray below with fine, faint, black barring. Adult males are bluer on top and more finely barred underneath than females. Adult Goshawks have orange eyes that eventually turn dark red as they get older. The tail is indistinctly banded with a narrow, white tip, and the head is blackish with a bold white eyeline. 2ndyear birds are adult-like, but some retain a few old tattered and worn brown juvenile feathers. Goshawks are the scarcest of the accipiters.

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