Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)
Photo illustration: Canadian Geographic; Photo: Kencrebbin / CG Photo Club
This medium-sized raptor has a dark head and distinct red eyes; its upperparts are blue-grey to dark-brown, while its underparts are a finely barred light grey. The northern goshawk's habitat is generally south of the treeline across Canada, and as far south as the sub-tropics.
Vote for the Northern goshawk for Canada’s National Bird
Comments and essays appear in the language in which they were submitted
Beautiful, unique and powerful bird!
— Submitted on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 by Robert Kennedy
A magnificent bird that truly represents Canada.
— Submitted on Monday, August 1, 2016 by Linda Cole
It has north in it. And it's a hawk. I mean c'mon.
— Submitted on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 by David Bancroft
Magnifique oiseau, allure fière,très bien adapté à la forêt canadienne.
— Submitted on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 by Robert Jacques
You should vote for the Northern Goshawk because the bird They have a blue and gray feathers.They have big wings and long tails.They eat large birds,squirrels, rabbits and hares. They first perch then they go and attack.They wait and watch and then they approach their prey silently.The northern goshawk sometimes looks for its prey.I am 2 years old
— Submitted on Friday, May 22, 2015 by Murtaza H
My friend is named after it and it doesnt have a lot of votes so I want to make it feel good.
— Submitted on Thursday, April 2, 2015 by Rory Paric
(King City, ON)
Because my friend has a similar name and it is found in every province and it is a truly beautiful bird
— Submitted on Thursday, April 2, 2015 by Ewan Fox
(Richmond Hill, ON)
Un oiseau de proie magnifique.
— Submitted on Monday, February 9, 2015 by Martine Lefebvre
Je vote pour le Mésangeai de Canada
— Submitted on Monday, February 9, 2015 by Marguerite Larouche
I have selected this bird because I was attacked by one. I know this may seem strange but I like creatures of all types that are willing to protect their space.
— Submitted on Sunday, February 8, 2015 by Brian Earle
— Submitted on Sunday, February 8, 2015 by David F. Baker
They are fierce defenders of territory. They are sprinters, both in flight and on the ground. They have a regal appearance and piercing red eyes. They help control my local feeder population of mourning doves. Every now and then one quietly sits in the oaks near a window waiting for quarry - those times startle and thrill me.
— Submitted on Saturday, February 7, 2015 by Dan Mansell
Nothing yells out Canada like our cold long winters from November until May and the rest of the time it is just poor dog sledding.
What birds do you see surviving Canada's cold winters;ravens down to the little chickadees and redpolls.
But the goshawk is what truly rules our Boreal forests.
They protect their territory with ferocity to all that dare invade it, whether intentional or not.
Although few have witnessed this, even fewer have seen one in their natural habitat
but be sure they are "STANDING ON GUARD FOR THEE"
— Submitted on Saturday, February 7, 2015 by Gary Selinger
The Goshawk represents everything that is Canada for me; beautiful, powerful and rugged. One of the top predators of the northern forests, a true Canadian Icon. The merlin was a close 2nd…
— Submitted on Friday, February 6, 2015 by Robert Conohan
Je crois que l'Autour des palombes représente bien l'esprit déterminer des Canadiens.
— Submitted on Monday, February 2, 2015 by Paul Tousignant
The way the northern goshawk navigates the forest with such precision, despite their large size, is remarkable. Their will defend their nest against anything that dare threaten them. Their piercing red eyes are unique among the Canadian raptors, as well, I believe. Truly incredible birds.
— Submitted on Saturday, January 31, 2015 by Liam Shea
I found this bird very interesting after I was in a park and one Swooped at me. These Beauties defend their territories fiercely from all intruders, including passing humans!!! It is said that this may actually come form the animals defending against bears. I can understand that. It is not a bird that is easy to spot but it also is used in falconry!
— Submitted on Thursday, January 29, 2015 by Amaryllis Lister
(St. John's, NL)
The westcoast Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis laingi), living in the wilds of temperate rainforest in BC is a threatened spieces, designated by COSEWIC. Over half of the global range of this subspecies occurs in coastal British Columbia, where it favours mature coniferous forest. This non-migratory bird needs a relatively large home range that contains a good food supply. Despite some recent habitat protection efforts, continuing habitat loss is predicted, in part because of anticipated short rotation times in forest harvest. On Haida Gwaii, populations are very low and face an added risk from declines of prey species due to forest understory losses associated with high levels of browsing from an introduced population of deer.
Status History: Designated Special Concern in April 1995. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2000 and May 2013.
— Submitted on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 by Sue Fox
I'll give the Goshawk some lovin' - spectacular birds, incredible flyers terrorising the deep boreal forests across Canada. They're beautiful to look at, too - that deep blue-grey back reminiscent of a Peregrine, with those haunting red eyes highlighted by the black blaze across them.
— Submitted on Friday, January 23, 2015 by Scott Docherty
(Les Coteaux, QC)
I was born and raised in the Fraser Valley of B.C. My Grandmother and I lived in a little house backing a mountain. Playing whack-a-mole consisted of a shovel and watching movement on mole hills. Also, it consisted of having many hawks searching for the exact same thing.
Road trips through the valley brought many sightings of these elegant creatures. They would be in the roadside middle sections, searching for their meals. They would be at tops of trees, and perched on the road lamps. They were a lovely presence.
I would also see them during bar fishing trips throughout the meandering of the Fraser River. Sometimes I would stare up at them in the trees, and wonder the count of who would catch the most fish. Them or me.
— Submitted on Monday, January 12, 2015 by LaDonna Quinn
I always thought the loon was the national bird of Canada. It is widespread and on the currency and would be a good pick. I chose northern goshawk, as it is a noble creature associated with deep forests, where it hunts by maneuvering forcefully through heavy foliage while hunting. There is almost no obstacle that will stop the hunting Goshawk. It also has heraldic significance of importance, and this would reflect the association between the United Kingdom and Canada.
— Submitted on Friday, January 9, 2015 by Pieter Prall