Juvenile Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

Posted by Julie L. Brown, Photobirder (Indianapolis, Indiana, United States) on 22 April 2011 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Central Indiana 2011 Spring Birds Series
Indianapolis, Indiana
Eagle Creek Park, 4/2/11

One of the big draws for birders in the area recently has been the presence of an adult and a juvenile Northern Goshawk at Eagle Creek Park. On this bright and sunny morning, I went to the area where the hawk had been seen, but instead of standing around with the other birders near the parking lot, I decided to hike around the pond and try to get a better look at some ducks. As luck would have it, a large hawk flew over me and perched in a tree with the sun behind it. I got some backlit shots of the front of the bird, then it flushed and flew to another tree, this time with the sun behind me.

The Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) is our largest Accipiter, and is not normally seen here. They reside year-round in northern Canada, and are generally not migratory, but will sometimes move south during the winter. Apparently, the Northern Goshawk is threatened in the western parts of its range, historically due to logging, but numbers might be increasing in the east as a result of maturing forests.


I decided to interrupt my Florida spring break series and post images of some of the birds being seeing here in central Indiana as spring activity starts to pick up. I have created a new gallery on my smugmug homepage to feature birds in the season they are seen. For my latest bird photos, go to the web galleries link below in the profile section to see a slideshow from this gallery.

To see my spotlight images, click here .
This photoblog is my nature journal and travelogue. Many of my wildlife images were made in environments impacted by humans. My goal is to feature each animal in a way that allows the viewer to sense the essence of its life in the wild. The purpose of the accompanying narratives is to enhance awareness and appreciation of our natural world, as well as to inspire everyone to protect and care for it.

Marie LC from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

Great light and beautiful plumage

22 Apr 2011 10:35am

@Marie LC: This is a magnificent bird, and a thrill to see. Thanks for your comment, Marie.

Isidro from Barcelona, Spain

Excellent capture of this elegant this bird, magnificent detail of the feathers, very good!

22 Apr 2011 1:38pm

@Isidro: I was not as close to the bird as I would have liked, but it was a thrill to see and to get a photograph. Thank you so much for your nice comment.

Twojays from Emigrant, United States

He is just beautiful and nicely surrounded by the blossoming buds of the trees, against the brilliant sky. Nice to see a close up of this breed. Is it Go Shawk, or Gos Hawk or Gosh awk in pronounciation? Silly of me, but curious.

22 Apr 2011 5:39pm

@Twojays: The best time to get bird photos is now, before the trees leaf out. Having a blue sky background is always a bonus. The pronunciation is Gos Hawk-not a silly question at all! Thanks for your comment and question Joyce.

Loner from Wörgl, Austria

There you had the luck of the competent once again ! A very nice shot !

22 Apr 2011 8:20pm

@Loner: Thank you Sonja. I was lucky and in the right place. It is a matter of being out in nature and having patience. Of course, I always wish to be closer, but this is image is an acceptable first photo record.

Manuel Hompanera from La Robla, Spain

Una compo bien cuidada de un ejemplar precioso en total libertad.Buen trabajo.

22 Apr 2011 11:41pm

@Manuel Hompanera: Gracias, Manuel.

Sam from Chennai, India

Great capture. Excellent detail. Well done ... :)

23 Apr 2011 3:12am

@Sam: Thank you Sam.

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Wow, wonderful shot.

23 Apr 2011 3:22am

@B. Thomas: Thank you Barbara. I was lucky, not everyone who went looking for this hawk got to see it.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
1/1250 second
ISO 200
420 mm


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