Find­ing Goshawks

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

I read Conor Jame­son’s ar­ti­cle on Goshawks with in­ter­est. I live on the edge of the Suf­folk Brecks where, ac­cord­ing to Suf­folk Birds 2014, there are six breed­ing pairs of Goshawks. De­spite such rel­a­tive abun­dance, I rarely see them un­less I go out spe­cially look­ing for them. Records around my house (which is in a ru­ral sit­u­a­tion) are sur­pris­ingly few. I did, how­ever, see one on 1 Jan­uary. As is usual with hunt­ing Goshawks, my at­ten­tion was drawn to the bird by the mass panic of the lo­cal Rooks, Jack­daws, Crows and Wood­pi­geons. At least 2,000 corvids had taken nois­ily to the air, and crowds of Wood­pi­geons were clat­ter­ing out of a strip of maize game­cover. My glimpse of the Goshawk, a brown first-year in­di­vid­ual, was brief but con­clu­sive. No other rap­tor, not even a Pere­grine, strikes such ter­ror. Fal­coner friends who fly Goshawks tell me that find­ing lost birds is made much eas­ier by the con­ster­na­tion of the lo­cal corvids. Bird­watch­ers look­ing for Goshawks should be aware that the be­hav­iour of corvids can be a valu­able in­di­ca­tor of a hunt­ing Goshawk. David Tom­lin­son

Cap­tive Adult Goshawk

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