Northern Goshawk
Accipiter gentilis

– medium-sized raptor
– female roughly size of Common Buzzard, male considerably smaller
– diurnal migrant
– migrates singly


Northern Goshawk Accipiter g. gentilis, 1CY
BIF1476, 04/12/2010, Leipzig, Germany, Mathias Putze
– brown toned all over, pale tips of upperwing coverts diagnostic for JUV plumage
– distinct barring of remiges from above -> JUV Eurasian Sparrowhawk
– tail rounded (compare with AD)


Northern Goshawk Accipiter g. gentilis, 1CY
BIF1477, 04/12/2010, Leipzig, Germany, Mathias Putze
same as BIF 1476
– buffish body and underwing coverts with streaking (barring on Eurasian Sparrowhawk)
– streaking confided to breast and upper belly,
– evenly distict bold barring of tail and remiges


Northern Goshawk Accipiter g. gentilis, 1CY
BIF1479, 15/12/2010, Leipzig, Germany, Mathias Putze
– stronger body than Eurasian Sparrowhawk
– in fast flight strikingly ‚S‘-shaped, broad dusky trailing edge to the wing


Northern Goshawk Accipiter g. gentilis, 1CY
BIF1478, 15/12/2010, Leipzig, Germany, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1479
– can appear fairly narrow-handed when gliding


Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis ssp., 2CY
BIF1480, 30/03/2012, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, MHE
– after postjuvenile moult the head and back of 2CY in spring appear greyer than in 1CY (note that P5 is missing)


Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis ssp., 2CY
BIF1481, 30/03/2012, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, MHE
same as BIF 1480
– typical JUV tail pattern: dark brown bars alternating with pale brown-grey bars of roughly the same width


Northern Goshawk Accipiter g. gentilis, AD F
BIF1473, 17/03/2013, Hof, Germany, Mathias Putze
– AD are all grey without any brown tones
– only faint barring of secondaries and inner primaries
compared to AD Eurasian Sparrowhawk:
– lacks dusky trailing edge to the wing
– very dense and finer barring of body and wing coverts
– rounded ‚corners‘ of tail


Northern Goshawk Accipiter g. gentilis, AD F
BIF1472, 17/03/2013, Hof, Germany, Mathias Putze
same as 1473
– sexed as F by more boldly marked outer primaries and less solid ear-mask (compare with M on BIF1474)
– note fluffed out pure white undertail coverts during displaying period


Northern Goshawk Accipiter g. gentilis, M AD
BIF1474, 04/08/2016, Greifswald, Germany, MHE
– pronounced ‚S‘-shaped trailing edge of wing with bulging outer secondaries and narrow hand
– distictive, broad white supercilium -> Eurasian Sparrowhawk


Northern Goshawk Accipiter g. gentilis, 1CY
BIF1482, 30/10/2011, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
– a rather strongly patterned 1CY individual


Northern Goshawk Accipiter g. gentilis, 1CY
BIF1483, 16/12/2010, Leipzig, Mathias Putze


Northern Goshawk Accipiter g. gentilis, AD
BIF1484, 29/10/2012, Werbeliner See, Germany, Mathias Putze
– broad white supercilium striking even at greater distance

voice: usually nonvocal during migration

comparison species:
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (v)
Levant Sparrowhawk (v)
Shikra (v)

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