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NORTHERN GOSHAWK
Though Northern Goshawks are abundant in Alaska they are not commonly seen...

...as they spend most of their time in thickly wooded habitats. The Northern Goshawk is one of three hawks in a group known as AccipIters. Acipiters can be recognized by their short, rounded wings and long tails, as well as their 'several flaps and glide' form of flight.

 

Adult Northern Goshawk are bluish-gray on their back, wings and tail, with pearly gray breasts and underparts. They have a dark gray scull cap highlighted with light gray stripes above each of their red eyes and white tips on their long tail feathers.  Young Goshawks are brown in color with buff colored, brown streaked underparts, as well as yellow, rather than red eyes. It takes several years for a young Goshawk's eyes to fully mature to red.

 

Accipiters, in general, are known to exploit a variety of habitats for hunting, but prefer to nest in mixed stands of coniferous and deciduous trees. They often return to the same area year after year and will on occassion even reuse an old nest. Their nests are built of large sticks, usually high up in birch or aspen trees.

 

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