"Goshawk" originated as
a shortened version of "goose hawk" or "grouse hawk."
Chicken hawk, "Gos"
habits: Takes hares, rabbits, gray squirrels, red
squirrels, chipmunks, weasels, ducks, grouse, quail, pheasants,
crows, smalls hawks, owls, woodpeckers, blackbirds, jays,
grasshoppers, and moth and beetle larvae. One study in Pennsylvania
and New York found that red squirrels and common crows were the main
prey of goshawks. In Minnesota goshawks rely heavily on Ruffed
Grouse and snowshoe hares.
habits: Although there are some exceptions (like one
Goshawk banded at Hawk Ridge that was recaptured at Yorktown,
Saskatchewan, a month later) goshawks migrate southward to the
mid-central states. In most years, only a portion of the population
leaves the breeding range. However, during cyclic lows of grouse and
hare populations (approximately every 10 years) goshawk "invasions"
occur; food shortages force a much larger portion of the population
to migrate south.
habits: Both sexes build the nest; female does most of
the incubating, feeding young, and defending the territory. There
are usually 3-4 eggs, which hatch after 36-38 days. Young first
leave nest when 41-43 days old, and begin flying a few days later.
females average 1059 grams; males 816 grams. In the
world of raptors, females are bigger, stronger, and usually more
aggressive than males.
expectancy: A 13-year old Goshawk originally banded at
Hawk Ridge was recovered in northern Alberta. A falconer's goshawk
lived in captivity almost 19 years.
Click here to see raptor statistics at Hawk Ridge