Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Jim Parrish
Photo Copyright Jim Parrish

The northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis, breeds in much of the Northern Hemisphere, and occasionally winters outside (south) of its breeding range. It occurs as a permanent resident throughout Utah, but is not common in the state. The northern goshawk prefers mature mountain forest and riparian zone habitats.

Nests are constructed in trees in mature forests; often nests previously used by northern goshawks or other bird species are re-used. Females lay and then incubate a single clutch of two to four eggs; eggs hatch in 32-34 days. Young are able to fly at about five to six weeks of age, but they are still dependent on their parents for food until they reach about ten weeks of age.

Northern goshawks cruise low through forest trees to hunt, and may also perch and watch for prey. Major prey items include rabbits, hares, squirrels, and birds.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.