Goshawk, bird of prey

Goshawk, bird of prey

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Birds of prey always exert a certain charm: they are predatory birds that skillfully hunt and feed on other animals! They have beak and claws and a keen sense of sight. All common features also ingoshawk.

L'goshawk of prey, also known ascommon goshawk holoartico, belongs to the Accipitridae family and in Italy it is present only in the Alps and the Apennines. In Sardinia and Corsica there is a subspecies known asAccipiter gentilis arrigonii.

Goshawk, bird of prey with fearsome predatory characteristics. Habitat and curiosities.

Goshawk: bird of prey

Birds of prey are predatory birds that belong to the Accipitriformes order (like ourscommon holarctic goshawk), to the order Falconiformes (like hawks) and Strigiformes (like owls).

The termrapaciouscomes from the Latinrapax-acidwhat does it meankidnap, greedily steal or take by force. This is what the predatory goshawk does with its prey.

Its scientific name isAccipiter gentilis, it's arapaciousmedium-large in size. His being ravenous is also innate in the name. The term Accipiter derives from the Latinaccipitateand means "to grasp", gentilis means "noble" or "gentle".

In the same order asgoshawkthere are other birds of prey such as the buzzard, the harrier and the eagles.

In North America it populates only pristine forests. In the old continent it is widespread in Scandinavia, Finland and Russia. It is present in the north of Iran.


The body length reaches about 65 cm, the wingspan varies from 90 to 122 cm. The weight can reach 2.2 kg.

Behavior and predation

The goshawk is a solitary bird of prey but it can also be seen in pairs. This species is strongly territorial as well as most ofbirds of prey.

The territories are managed by adults. During nesting, pairs strongly space their nests (1,500 to 9,900 acres apart). Distance is essential in order to maintain territorial rights over nesting areas.

Male goshawks, during their flights, ensure that other males do not enter the territory. Similarly, the females protect the territory from other female goshawks.

In order to protect the territory, the goshawks perform "territorial flights" throughout the year but even more frequent during the nesting period, around April. The "territorial flight" is characterized by a slower wing beat, long slips and undulations.

Territory fights, in general, are resolved only withthreatsand without any physical contact. The youngest or the smallest specimen leaves, leaving the territory to the larger and more adult goshawk. Only occasionally can territorial skirmishes degenerate into real physical battles where one of the tworaptorsends up seriously injured or killed. In the fighting for the territory, the bird of prey does not use its beak but its claws.

Therepredation of the rapacious goshawkhe is very handsome.

The goshawk hunts especially in the dense forest vegetation. The hunt is short, the movements quick and agile.

For hunting, the goshawk can go into habitats that do not belong to it, such as grasslands or forest edges bordering agricultural land.

How long does the hunt last?
The average is 83 seconds for males and 94 seconds for females. Success is guaranteed by the fact that the goshawk notices its prey from great distances and is able to quickly reach it and capture it.

If the prey notices its predator of prey early, the pursuit could lengthen hunting times. It is not uncommon for the goshawk to abandon its prey bored by the pursuit.

A study conducted in Germany estimated that 80% of attacks initiated by goshawks are successful. A study conducted in Great Britain, however, pointed out that a high percentage of the prey can come from pastures or farms: easy prey! The goshawks, in less rural environments where the presence of pigeons is strong, tend to prefer this predada: the pigeon!

Not just birds Goshawks can hunt scogliattoli or hares. A goshawk eats everything, just like great owls. Any smaller animal can be considered prey.

What are the most common prey:

  • reptiles
  • amphibians
  • fishes
  • insects
  • pigeons
  • crows
  • grouse
  • pheasants
  • thrushes
  • peaks
  • squirrels
  • rabbits
  • hares
  • mice
  • meadow voles
  • snakes

Corvids can be a good food source for the rapacious goshawk. The prey changes according to the colonized habitat. For example, in Europe, the goshawk mainly preys on pigeons and doves while occasionally in North America it can hunt weasels and martens.

The adult specimens do not present particular predators, however wild birds have an estimated life of about 11 years. In captivity, the rapacious goshawk can reach 27 years of age.

The goshawk suffers from pollution and human settlements, especially the presence of power plants and power lines: collisions with electrical cables are quite frequent.

Video: BIRDS OF PREY, FALCONRY AVIARIES, MEWS AND HOUSING. For hawks falcons owls and eagles (July 2022).


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