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Bird of Prey  Goshawk

Goshawk - Photo  Copyright 2007 Mark Simms
Photo: Mark Simms

UK Safari Tip:
Get help identifying birds of prey with this superbly illustrated chart - click here

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Latin name: Accipter gentilis

Size: Wingspan approx 105cm. Length approx 60cm.

Quite rare, but found in many parts of England Wales and Scotland. Stronghold is Wales and central England. Absent from Northern Ireland.

Months seen: All year round.

Habitat: Mainly coniferous and beech woodland.

Food: Birds and mammals such as squirrel, rabbit, pigeon, pheasant.

Special features:  Goshawks are slate grey coloured on their backs and white below. The breast and undersides of the wings are closely barred with grey.  There is a thin dark line over the eye, with a wider white stripe above it.

The females are about the size of buzzards. The male is around one third smaller.  Males can appear very similar to sparrowhawks.  The juvenile goshawks are more brown in colour with dark brown speckling on the breast feathers.  

When seen in flight goshawks have broad wings and a long tail.

Goshawks became extinct in Britain in the early 1900's, but started to appear again in the 1960's. This was probably the result of falconers birds escaping into the wild.

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UK Safari Birds of Prey Section
UK Safari Bird Section

  2011 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved