Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis; from OE. góshafuc 'goose-hawk') is a medium large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards and harriers.
It is a widespread species throughout the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. In North America it is named as the Northern Goshawk. It is mainly resident, but birds from colder regions of north Asia and Canada migrate south for the winter.
This species nests in trees, building a new nest each year. It hunts birds and mammals in woodland, relying on surprise as it flies from a perch or hedge-hops to catch its prey unaware. Animals as large as hares and Pheasant are taken.
This bird is a raptor with short broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to manoeuvring through trees. The male is blue-grey above and barred grey below. The much larger female is slate grey above grey below. The juvenile is brown above and barred brown below. The flight is a characteristic "slow flap – slow flap – straight glide".
In Eurasia, the male is confusable with a female Sparrowhawk, but is larger, much bulkier and has relatively longer wings. In spring, he has a spectacular roller-coaster display, and this is the best time to see this secretive forest bird.
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