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Is this a Goshawk? (1 Viewer)

YuShan

Well-known member
I was told that there are more Goshawk than Sparrowhawk in the New Forest. The Gos are doing so well there that they are driving out the Sparrowhawks. Not sure if it is true, but the person telling me this seemed well informed.
 
I was told that there are more Goshawk than Sparrowhawk in the New Forest. The Gos are doing so well there that they are driving out the Sparrowhawks. Not sure if it is true, but the person telling me this seemed well informed.
I have been going out to specifically find Gos and seem to be getting pretty lucky in a few known locations. Lots of buzzards but not many Sparrowhawk, I see them regularly in more urban environments around here though.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
There’s about 40 breeding pairs of Goshawk in the NF and use quite open woodland compared to Sparrowhawk so ironically might be more visible in stronghold areas than Sparrowhawk (Sparrowhawk tend to nest in denser tree stands). Goshawk are very vulnerable to human disturbance (which is high in parts of the NF (and still subject to persecution particularly in Pheasant release areas) which depress population growth. They are also quite sedentary and because they are a colonising species perhaps give the impression there are far more of them overall than there actually are? As for Sparrowhawk populations being impacted, I have not seen any research suggesting it is significant (doesn’t mean it’s not out there so happy to be corrected if anyone has any studies). There's actually some research to suggest Sparrowhawk and Goshawk have a sort of symbiotic relationship with positioning their nests both to maximise breeding of the prey species (for the Goshawk) and maximise protection from other prey species of the Goshawk such as corvids and squirrels. https://www.researchgate.net/public...rowhawk_and_common_buzzard_rivals_or_partners

I’m not sure about the OP video - in some frames it looks a bit Gos-like, in others though it looks too long tailed and slim winged at the bases imo.
C53898A7-8433-43E6-B0B8-C3AD0C82519C.jpeg 612939A6-A943-47DE-B84B-AD706FAEC4DC.jpeg
 
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There’s about 40 breeding pairs of Goshawk in the NF and use quite open woodland compared to Sparrowhawk so ironically might be more visible in stronghold areas than Sparrowhawk (Sparrowhawk tend to nest in denser tree stands). Goshawk are very vulnerable to human disturbance (which is high in parts of the NF (and still subject to persecution particularly in Pheasant release areas) which depress population growth. They are also quite sedentary and because they are a colonising species perhaps give the impression there are far more of them overall than there actually are? As for Sparrowhawk populations being impacted, I have not seen any research suggesting it is significant (doesn’t mean it’s not out there so happy to be corrected if anyone has any studies). There's actually some research to suggest Sparrowhawk and Goshawk have a sort of symbiotic relationship with positioning their nests both to maximise breeding of the prey species (for the Goshawk) and maximise protection from other prey species of the Goshawk such as corvids and squirrels. https://www.researchgate.net/public...rowhawk_and_common_buzzard_rivals_or_partners

I’m not sure about the OP video - in some frames it looks a bit Gos-like, in others though it looks too long tailed and slim winged at the bases imo.
View attachment 1363680 View attachment 1363681
 
Thanks for your very informative response!

On the ID front I was the thinking male Gos if it was one as it was definitely not the size of a female. Very long wings and a powerful wing beat but more slender than your typical silhouette of a Gos hence the question.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Btw Alex, a warm welcome to Birdforum btw.

As Tom pointed out, the flap rate right at the end of the video looks slow and quite deep more like Gos - Sparrowhawk at least, when soaring/hunting circling, have a typical shallow, fast flap flap glide flight, more like the fluttering flight in the first few frames as you can see in the video below. (Although In ‘travelling’ and banking flight, beats always seem to me to be slower and deeper and more active than they are when circling), the frames at the end of your clip do give a more Gos impression. Tbh. Usually people know if they have seen a Goshawk rather than a Sparrowhawk, more often than not, if they are not sure, it’s usually a Sparrowhawk- even the males are large and bulky looking in my experience.
 
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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Btw Alex, a warm welcome to Birdforum btw.

As Tom pointed out, the flap rate right at the end of the video looks slow and quite deep more like Gos - Sparrowhawk at least, when soaring/hunting circling, have a typical shallow, fast flap flap glide flight. In ‘travelling’ flight, beats seem to me to be slower and deeper and more active.


There is overlap in size between large, female Spars and male Gos and as raptors can all alter the urgency with which they move, this 'flap rate' cannot be diagnostic or even reliable?
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
There is overlap in size between large, female Spars and male Gos and as raptors can all alter the urgency with which they move, this 'flap rate' cannot be diagnostic or even reliable?
I agree Andy - in wing length and body length perhaps but male Gos are more bulky with a broader wing - it dosnt give those measurements in guide books, only length and wing span not breadth of wing or bulk of body. Hence, why I said even male Gos always look ‘large’ in the field cf Sparrowhawk. I am by no means certain either way - I think in some frames it looks like a large Sparrowhawk but like Tom, just those few wing beats at the end had me also thinking Gos when I first watched the video so in some frames it looks better for Gos!
 
Btw Alex, a warm welcome to Birdforum btw.

As Tom pointed out, the flap rate right at the end of the video looks slow and quite deep more like Gos - Sparrowhawk at least, when soaring/hunting circling, have a typical shallow, fast flap flap glide flight, more like the fluttering flight in the first few frames as you can see in the video below. (Although In ‘travelling’ and banking flight, beats always seem to me to be slower and deeper and more active than they are when circling), the frames at the end of your clip do give a more Gos impression. Tbh. Usually people know if they have seen a Goshawk rather than a Sparrowhawk, more often than not, if they are not sure, it’s usually a Sparrowhawk- even the males are large and bulky looking in my experience.
I agree Andy - in wing length and body length perhaps but male Gos are more bulky with a broader wing - it dosnt give those measurements in guide books, only length and wing span not breadth of wing or bulk of body. Hence, why I said even male Gos always look ‘large’ in the field cf Sparrowhawk. I am by no means certain either way - I think in some frames it looks like a large Sparrowhawk but like Tom, just those few wing beats at the end had me also thinking Gos when I first watched the video so in some frames it looks better for Gos!
This is what threw me off! It was definitely big enough for a Gos but the lack of bulk is what made me question it.
The moral of the story is I need to get a better camera!
 

jalid

Well-known member
There is overlap in size between large, female Spars and male Gos
No, there is not, not even close.

The original bird gives me a Goshawk feeling, but I am not really sure. In life, it should have been identifiable in views like this. Size is difficult to judge without comparison, but general bulk, speed of movements and shape, especially the proportional size of head are useful, if colour patterns can not be seen. The most difficult situations are those with very short observation time - those occur because of their style of hunting.
 
No, there is not, not even close.

The original bird gives me a Goshawk feeling, but I am not really sure. In life, it should have been identifiable in views like this. Size is difficult to judge without comparison, but general bulk, speed of movements and shape, especially the proportional size of head are useful, if colour patterns can not be seen. The most difficult situations are those with very short observation time - those occur because of their style of hunting.
If this helps... this is the clip of it just flying away
Rather than both which have been pasted together

 
Spar for me, no secondary bulge, wings just don't seem broad enough and it has a tiny waist, from the still.
It definitely lacked bulk but the wing span and flight made me think it was a Gos
If this helps this is just the clip of it flying away, Its zoomed in to max on my phone camera so not great but gives a slightly better view?

 

Biancone

to err is human
Don't think this is identifiable with any confidence! I can't get enough structure from the tiny images, but perhaps my screen is too old. I agree with Tom that the last moments of the original video look Gos-like: quite deep and slow wing beats, but - crucially, still moving at speed. Sparrowhawks I have seen showing similar deliberate wingbeats don't maintain similar speed.
 

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