Thank you for visiting the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department website. www.wildlife.state.nh.us NH Fish and Game

 

 

Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

Northern goshawk
Photo credit: Tomas Sereda @
Dreamstime.com

NH Conservation Status: Not listed

 

Federal Status: Not listed; Northern goshawks are legally protected in New Hampshire. Possession and take (which includes harming, harassing, injuring and killing) is illegal.

 

Distribution: Uncommon. Breeds throughout NH.

 

Description: 20-26” long with a 40-46” wingspan. The largest North American accipiter. Both males and females have pale gray back and a belly that is pale gray and finely barred. Both have a dark blackish crown and cheek and a white stripe over the eye.

 

Voice: Mostly silent. Occasionally will wail or make brief varied notes.

 

Commonly Confused Species: Cooper’s hawk, gyrfalcon, and red-shouldered hawk.

 

Habitat: Mature softwood and mixed forests with dense canopies and open forest floors.

 

Nesting: Northern goshawks nest between April and May, often in the lower canopy of beech, birch, aspen or maple trees. Females typically lay 3-4 eggs. Incubation takes place for 36-38 days and chicks are able to fly after another 34-37 days.

 

Diet: Primarily small to medium sized birds and small rodents.

 

More Information: Northern goshawk profile in the NH Wildlife Action Plan PDF Document

 

Northern goshawk with prey

Northern goshawk with prey. Photo credit: Stanislav Duben @ Dreamstime.com