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Northern Goshawk


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A powerful raptor of northern forests, the Northern Goshawk is the largest North American accipiter. It maneuvers through dense woods, taking prey as small as squirrels and as large as grouse, crows, and snowshoe hare.

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Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Large hawk.
  • Long tail.
  • Broad, rounded wings.
  • Dark cap and stripe through eye.
  • White eyebrow stripe.
  • Gray belly.
  • Blue-gray back.

Immature Description

Brown above and heavily streaked below. Back with some white or cinnamon streaks and white spots. Tail dark brown with jagged dark bars. Underparts whitish with broad dark brown streaks. Pale eyebrow stripe usually visible on brown head. Eyes yellow.

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Northern Goshawk Range Map
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Similar Species

Similar Species

  • Cooper's Hawk is smaller and lacks a distinct eyebrow stripe. Adult Cooper's with reddish chest. Juvenile Cooper's tail evenly barred.
  • Gyrfalcon has more direct flight and slower wingbeats, longer and more pointed wings, and two-toned wing pattern with light flight feathers contrasting with darker wing linings.