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Northern Goshawk

6 sec / 24 kb

The mightiest of all the birds I've ever seen in my garden: a big, grown-up female Goshawk of about 50 centimeters. How did I see it? Well,... One day, in late autumn, I came home, parked my car and walked from my car towards the kitchen door, which looks out into the back garden. Something very big flew away from the lawn. It was dusk, so I couldn't see the bird very well, but I noticed something on the lawn. That something looked like a dead Woodpigeon. As I hoped for whatever flew away to come back, I sneaked into the house and stood motionless, watching through the kitchen window. And yes, within a minute or so the creature returned and I could absorbe all details about the bird. And it certainly was one of the biggest birds I had ever seen in my own garden and probably the most impressive one! Alas, I did take some pictures but it was already too dark and probably I was to excited as well. All the pictures I took turned out to show nothing more then blurs and smears. The only thing that could be done was to take a picture of the remains of the wood pigeon next morning...

The remains of the pigeon.

This bird belongs to the family of Hawks (Accipitridae). So far it has been a one time visitor to our garden and can be seen in Holland all year round. The bird is 20-26" and weighs 700-1200 grams. It lives in woodlands mostly. It eats mammals and birds, especially pigeons. Compared to the male, the female is more greyish and a lot bigger. The nest, a big bunch of twigs in a tree, which may be used for years on end, is usually made (or expanded) in march and april. The bird then produces three to four eggs. It sits on the eggs for 45 days. After hatching the chicks are taken care of for another 4o days or so.

Name of this bird in various other languages
Dutch German French Polish Scientific
Havik Habicht Autour des palombes Jastrzab Accipiter gentilis


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