Forest Animals

Class: Aves: Birds  Diet: Small mammals
Order: Falconiformes: Birds of Prey
Size: 51 - 66 cm (20 - 26 in), wingspan: 120 cm (47 1/4 in)
Family: Accipitridae: Vultures, Eagles, Hawks Conservation Status: Non-threatened 
Scientific Name: Accipiter gentilis Habitat: forest, woodland
Range: North America, Europe, Iran, Tibet, Japan

Size of GoshawkThese aggressive hawks are the largest birds in the genus Accipiter and are efficient killers. They fly through the forest, weaving skillfully in and out of trees, and sometimes soar over the treetops. They kill prey with a viselike grip of the powerful talons, then pluck it (if a bird) and eat it on the ground. A goshawk is capable of killing birds as large as pheasant and grouse and mammals the size of rabbits and hares. The birds are often trained for falconry. 

Range of GoshawkGoshawk pairs usually mate for life. They winter alone and in the spring meet at the breeding grounds, where they perform flight displays. A new nest is made in a tree or an old nest is repaired. The pair roost together while building the nest and perform a screaming duet each day before sunrise. They mate about 10 times a day during the egg-laying period, which lasts 6 to 8 weeks.  The clutch contains from 1 to 5 eggs, usually 3, but the number is affected by the availability of suitable prey. The female incubates the clutch for 36 to 38 days; the male brings her food and takes over occasionally. Some northern populations of goshawks migrate south after breeding.


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