The Northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis

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It is the largest of the Accipiter genus; it possesses short and wide wings and a long tail well adapted to flight in the woods.

The female is larger measuring between 58 and 64 cms with a wingspan of 108 to 127 cms; She is slaty-blue on the back with greyish underparts and can weigh up to 2 kg.

This species looks much like the Sparrowhawk, although much larger, males and females can be compared plumage wise and the Goshawk female is also about 25% heavier than the male.

This bird is rather a forest dweller but hunts in open areas. A pheasant fell prey here, not surprisingly due to the cold and the snowfall from the previous day which had already melted. The Goshawk didn’t hesitate long.

If the male feeds on birds the size of a jay or a pigeon, the female like the one shown here does not hesitate to attack much larger prey: nocturnal raptors such as owls or Short-eared owls but also Sparrowhawks, gallinaceous species and even Herons.

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C’est le plus grand rapace du genre Accipiter, il possède de courtes et larges ailes et une longue queue bien adaptées au vol en forêt, son habitat. La femelle est plus grande que le mâle, mesurant entre 58 et 64 cm avec une envergure de 108 à 127 cm. Elle est bleu ardoise au-dessus et grise en dessous et peut peser jusqu’à 2 kg.

Usité le plus souvent pour le Faucon crécerelle, le terme émouchet s’applique également à l’Epervier d’Europe et à l’Autour. Ces deux espèces se ressemblent beaucoup mais ce dernier est beaucoup plus gros: leurs sexes se différencient de la même manière, même colorations et variations de plumage, la femelle étant également environ 25% plus grosse que le mâle.

S’il est plutôt forestier, cet accipitridé chasse aussi à découvert dans les champs à proximité de bosquets ou autour de marais et étangs aux berges boisées; ici, un faisan en a fait les frais. Si le mâle se nourrit d’oiseaux de la taille d’un geai ou d’un pigeon, la femelle n’hésite pas à s’attaquer à des gabarits nettement supérieurs: rapaces nocturnes telles les chouettes, Hiboux des marais mais aussi Eperviers, gallinacés, voir même des Hérons.

Ces photos fortement recadrées datent du 04 février entre deux coups de neige, celle de la veille ayant fondu; elles font partie de celles qu’on ne fait qu’une fois dans sa vie! Nous étions en voiture et j’avais très heureusement mon 80/400 mm avec moi. Le fait d’être dans la voiture et la faim de l’oiseau aidant, l’Autour nous a totalement ignorés.

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These picture are from the 4th of February between 2 snow falls and they are certainly part of those one takes only once in a lifetime! We were in the car and luckily I had my camera with the 80/400 mm lens and with the cold helping, it must explain why the bird took no notice of us.

 

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Noushka Wildlife

Noushka

Passionate about Wildlife, Photography and Wildlife issues. I live in the south of France at the present, but have lived in Africa for 16 years, in the U.S. for 3 years. With my husband, I created and managed a BIRD PARK in South Africa, raising mainly psittacines; the breeding facility housed over 1000 parrots at any given time. I speak French and English alike and manage decently in Spanish. My photography is about sharing fauna's beauty with other enthusiasts! Equipment: ALL NIKON Cameras: D500, D750 Tele lenses: 300 mm, 500 mm, 800 mm f5/6E, Zoom lenses: 16/80 mm, 80/400 mm, 200/500 mm and: Macro 150 Sigma. * * * My work can be seen HERE: http://1000-pattes.blogspot.fr/ * * * NOT ON FACEBOOK

Noushka Wildlife

Noushka Wildlife

Passionate about Wildlife, Photography and Wildlife issues. I live in the south of France at the present, but have lived in Africa for 16 years, in the U.S. for 3 years. With my husband, I created and managed a BIRD PARK in South Africa, raising mainly psittacines; the breeding facility housed over 1000 parrots at any given time. I speak French and English alike and manage decently in Spanish. My photography is about sharing fauna's beauty with other enthusiasts! Equipment: ALL NIKON Cameras: D500, D750 Tele lenses: 300 mm, 500 mm, 800 mm f5/6E, Zoom lenses: 16/80 mm, 80/400 mm, 200/500 mm and: Macro 150 Sigma. * * * My work can be seen HERE: http://1000-pattes.blogspot.fr/ * * * NOT ON FACEBOOK

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