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Goshawk

Irish: Seabhac mór
Latin: Accipiter gentilis

Description:
Strong raptor with broad wings and long tail. Adult male can be confused with male sparrowhawk despite its larger size. The adult male is bluish above with whitish belly barred grey. It has an large white supercilium or eye stripe. Females are the size of a buzzard with slate-grey upperparts and whitish underparts barred grey. Juveniles are brown above and buff-white below with heavy brown streaks or 'tear drops'.

Habitat:
Goshawks need woodland and open country for hunting but needs mature woodlands or conifer stands for nesting. They normally choose plantations or woodlands that are at least 80 years of age.

Food:
Goshawks kill a variety of medium-small birds and mammals including rabbits, pigeons, crows, pheasant, starlings and other passerines.

Breeding:
Builds its large stick nest in mature woodlands and plantations. 3-5 eggs laid in April-May and incubation lasts36-38 days. The chicks leave the nest after 36-40 days, by which time the nest and tree are sometimes festooned by prey remains such as eaten crows and pigeons.

Status:
2-5 pairs of Goshawk are known to be breeding in Northern Ireland and though no records of breeding Goshawk in the Republic of Ireland have been published they are believed to be breeding in 3-5 counties.