[CT Birds] To ad to the Goshawk ID subject.

Carrier Graphics carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net
Wed May 7 21:13:39 EDT 2014


To ad to the Goshawk ID subject. 
I've been Hawk watching since 1971, and to this day I can say, the Goshawk is the most miss IDed Hawk there is. Even good hawk watchers know this, and take their time in calling one a Goshawk. Yes- a full adult in good light and perched or flying close can be an easier ID for sure, but most Goshawks always seem to be a quick look, or in poor lighting as they zip by-away or at you. Ad to this, most seen are often Immature birds or ones transitioning into adulthood with little to go on. 
Most all the Goshawks i've seen flying at first sighting come across more as a Buteo. So many are mis IDed as a Buteo and overlooked as one. But the good Hawk watcher knows to study it for awhile and look for the subtle differences, for this is how most all Goshawks are confirmed on the wing. To me, a Buteo that does the flap and sail direct flight is suspicious, and if one stays on it, it will often show itself as a Gos. They usually show more signs at first of being a Buteo than an Accipiter. Large,chunky with only a slightly longer tail. A Gos in full open wing and tail sailing up in a thermal really look much more like a Buteo than an Accipiter. We all hope to see a Goshawk perched in a tree, well lit and being an adult, but this rarely happens. So study the books on subtle field marks, but always keep in mind a perfect look at one is usually only seen if you are near a nest, or being seen in a Nature centers cage. 

Paul Carrier - Harwinton      


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