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BirdNote: Northern Goshawk - Esteemed Bird Of Prey

Tom Munson

The Northern Goshawk is one of the most fearsome and admired of all birds of prey. The elegant goshawk is the largest hawk of the northern forest.

Since at least medieval times, falconers have regarded the goshawk as a bird of great distinction. Attila the Hun even wore its image on his helmet.

The boreal forest is a vital part of the bird’s range. During lean years, when Ruffed Grouse and snowshoe hare populations dip – about every ten years – the scarcity of prey brings Northern Goshawks south. It’s then that we're more likely to see these beautiful and fearsome hunters.