The Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) is a heavy-bodied hawk with a dark blue-gray back and black crown, pale underparts finely barred with gray, and a conspicuous white eyebrow. Young birds are similar but brown above, streaked below.
The swift flight of the Northern Goshawk chasing a grouse (which is a staple of its diet) has given the bird the name “Blue Darter.” It is fearless in defense of the nest and will boldly attack anyone who ventures too close. Its sound is loud kak-kak-kak-kak-kak when disturbed.
Distribution & Habitat
The Northern goshawk prefers coniferous forests, farmlands, woodland edges, and open country (in the winter). Its distribution range covers Alaska, Mackenzie, N. Quebec, and Newfoundland south to New England, Michigan and New Mexico; also southward in the Appalachians to Maryland. It has recently begun extending its range to the south and now breeds in small numbers in deciduous forests. The species winters south to Virginia and northern Mexico.