NORTHERN GOSHAWK

Accipiter gentilis
English: Northern Goshawk.
German: Habicht.
French: Autour des palombes.
Order: Falconiformes.
Family: Accipitridae.
49-56 cm.
The Northern Goshawk could be mistaken in some cases with the Common Kestrel and the Lesser Kestrel, but the eyes of the kestrels are dark and they have a back with well-defined brown tones. On the other hand, the female Eurasian Sparrowhawk could be mistaken with a male Northern Goshawk, although the latter will always be larger. Juvenile Eurasian Sparrowhawk show the lower parts with marked stripes, while the goshawk has visibles spots.
Adult male specimens show a back in gray-bluish tones. The ear feathers are a intense gray. Females have a back in which brown tones predominate and their ear feathers are a lighter gray or even brown. In this species, the female is larger than the male.

In juvenile specimens, the plumage of both sexes is similar, so it is not a characteristic to be taken into account for sexing, but they can be sexed by size.

Consider the design of the head and back as there is a great individual variation. Depending on the geographical location of the individual there is a great diversification of size: northern birds are larger than southern ones.
It is possible to recognize 3 different ages:

Juvenile specimens: with a general plumage in brown tones and their lower parts speckled with brown. The chest is not barred, but with large spots in the form of dark tears on a brown background.

2nd year / 3rd year specimens: the upper parts are gray-brown, with retained brown juvenile feathers and a visible wear, especially in the feathers of the rump and back. Some individuals may have some retained brown juvenile feathers in the median and lesser coverts. The feathers of the chest have 3 or 4 thick transverse lines of gray-brown color, sometimes tinted with ante tones. In specimens that have some retained secondaries from the previous generation, they will be narrow, brown, and very worn. These specimens have an iris in yellow-orange tones.

Adult specimens: the crown and ear feathers are tinted with uniformly dark tones and a well-defined white superciliary stripe. The feathers of the back are gray or uniform brown-slate, sometimes some specimens show some feathers slightly dotted with white. The feathers of the chest with 4 or 5 thin transverse lines of dark gray-brown or brown, with the last one being narrower than the rest. In the case of retained secondaries, they will show the adult pattern. In these individuals, the iris has a spectrum of orange to red color.
The Northern Goshawk performs a complete post-nuptial molt, although some central secondaries may appear retained. Generally, this process usually ends in the month of September. On the other hand, the post-juvenile molt is complete and does not start until the 2nd year. In the same way, occasional central secondaries, rump feathers and wing coverts may appear retained.
Primaries: 10 per wing.
Secundaries: 13-15 per wing.
Rectrices: 12.
Link: http://blascozumeta.com/

La obtención de este material ha sido posible gracias al permiso necesario de la Junta de Andalucía.

AUTORIZACIÓN DE LA DIRECTORA GENERAL DE MEDIO NATURAL, BIODIVERSIDAD Y ESPACIOS PROTEGIDOS DE LA CONSEJERÍA DE AGRICULTURA, GANADERÍA, PESCA Y DESARROLLO SOSTENIBLE DE LA JUNTA DE ANDALUCÍA, PARA LA CESIÓN DE MUESTRAS BIOLÓGICAS DE ESPECIES DE FAUNA (ARTÍCULO 9 DE LA LEY 8/2003, DE 28 DE OCTUBRE, DE LA FLORA Y LA FAUNA SILVESTRES).

Medidas/Measures

Adult specimen:
Beak tip to pupil center:
Tarsus:

Juvenile female specimen

 

1.- Left wing primaries. 2.- Primaries. 3.- Details of the vane of the primaries. 4.- Details of the tip of the outer primaries. 5.- Details of the tip of the inner primaries. 6.- Details of the vane of the outer primaries. 7.- Secondaries (S14-S8). 8.- Secondaries (S7-S1). 9.- Secondaries and tertials of the left wing. 10.- Details of the tip of the secondaries. 11.- Details of the vane of the secondaries. 12.- Details of the vane of the secondaries S1, S2, and S3. 13.- Tertials. 14.- Primaries, secondaries, and tertials of the left wing. 15.- Primaries, secondaries, and tertials of the left wing. 16.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Greater coverts and primary coverts. 17.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary coverts + greater and median coverts. 18.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary and secondary coverts (G, M, and L). Alulas. 19.- Details of the primary coverts. 20.- Details of the greater coverts. 21.- Details of the greater coverts (5-1). 22.- Secondary coverts (G, M, and L). 23.- Primary coverts. 24.- Greater coverts. 25.- Alulas. 26.- Rectrices. 27.- Rectrices. 28.- Details of the rectrices. 29.- Details of the rectrices. 30.- Details of the rectrices (R6, R5, R4). 31.- Details of the rectrices (R3 and R2). 32.- Details of the R6. 33.- Rectrices + uppertail coverts. 34.- Details of uppertail coverts. 35.- Uppertail coverts. 36.- Rectrices + undertail coverts. 37.- Details of undertail coverts. 38.- Undertail coverts. 39.- Top: Primary infra-coverts. Bottom: Median infra-coverts. 40.- Secondary infra-coverts. 41.- Axillary feathers. 42.- Assembly of the left scapula. 43.- Scapula feathers. 44.- Assembly of the left flank. 45.- Left flank feathers. 46.- Assembly of belly feathers. 47.- Belly feathers. 48.- Assembly of chest feathers. 49.- Chest feathers. 50.- Assembly of back. 51.- Back feathers. 52.- Left thigh feathers. 53.- Crown feathers.

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