Northern Goshawk ad M2. [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Northern Goshawk ad M2. [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

Range
Alaska, Canada, and south to Virginia. This hawk does not generally nest in Virginia.

Size
Length          21-25 inches
Wingspan     40-46 inches
Weight          22-48 ounces

Habitat
Requires extensive home range of woodlands to breed and survive.

Diet
Usual prey includes grouse, ptarmigan, red squirrels and hares.

Characteristics
Large, fierce raptor of the Northern forests. May hunt by either a perch-and-watch technique followed by a fast attack, or by searching for prey by way of flying throughout the edges of the forest. Uncommon raptor in Virginia. Tend to stay away from humans and development. Adult males and females have different plumage. Females are larger than males.