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Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)


Northern Goshawks are the largest of the accipiters in Colorado. They have a dark bluish gray back and crown with a light grey eyebrow. Their chest is light gray with dark speckles. Juveniles have brown feathers on their back and wings with a buffy-colored chest streaked with dark brown. Juveniles lack the orange-red eyes of adults. Tails are long and barred with a white tip.


Northern Goshawks prey on a wide variety of species including rodents, rabbits, large songbirds, small to medium-sized game birds and occasionally reptiles.


Migration patterns vary with age, sex and weather. Goshawks can typically be found in the mountains and foothills of Colorado.


Breeding pairs will nest in the same territory each year but they will rotate nest sites. One to four eggs are laid per brood, and young fledge four to five weeks after hatching.


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