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 Northern Goshawk

Status in Michigan

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Northern Goshawk.

Use the links below to view the Northern Goshawk reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Northern Goshawk sightings.
Northern Goshawk Archives Reports
Fall 2003 10
Spring 2003 22
Winter 02-03 4
Fall 2002 8
Summer 2002 1
Spring 2002 18
Winter 01-02 15
Fall 2001 7
Summer 2001 2
Spring 2001 17
Winter 00-01 14
Fall 2000 55
Summer 2000 1
Spring 2000 13
Winter 00-99 13
Fall 1999 38
Spring/Summer 1999 4

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Northern Goshawk

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Northern Goshawk
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Northern Goshawk
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Accipiter gentilis atricapillus (Wilson)
Eastern Goshawk (A.O.U. 1998: Northern Goshawk)
U.M.M.Z. Animal Diversity Reference

Rare. Occasional records at all seasons, but status little known. Local summer resident from Roscommon County northward.

First authoritatively recorded for Michigan by Gibbs (1879: 490).

SPRING.-On April 24, 1927, the species was recorded at Ann Arbor (N. A. Wood and Tinker, 1934: 13), and on February 21, 1932, an adult was reported in Hartland Township, Livingston County, by A. D. Tinker and R. E. Olsen. At Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, several were shot during the May 1-3, 1914, flight (N. A. Wood, 1914: 63); and 1 was noted on May 8 and 1 on May 9, 2023 (Brodkorb). Shiras recorded the species as "common" in spring at Whitefish Lake, Alger County (N. A. Wood, 1918: 6). A specimen (S. S. Gregory, Jr., collection) was collected by C. F. Brandler at Channing, Dickinson County, on April 10, 1899; 0. B. Warren (1895: 191) recorded an individual in Marquette County on March 27, 1894. At Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, the species was a common migrant in late April, 1931 (N. A. Wood, 1933: 718).

SUMMER.-Nests have been found by the end of March; young by mid- May.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Houghton Lake State Forest, Roscommon County, on April 16,1937, F. M. Baumgartner (1938: 523; and notes) found a nest that on May 21 contained a very small nestling and an addled egg; in the succeeding year, he found a nest about a mile to the south in the same county. South of Atlanta, Montmorency County, during the first week of April, 1939, A. S. Hazzard and J. W. Leonard saw a nest from which D. S. Shelter collected 3 (U.M.M.Z.) of the 4 nestlings on May 14. At the Fontinalis Club, near Vanderbilt, Otsego County, an adult male (U.M.M.Z.), apparently breeding, was secured on June 12, 1941, by C. Peterson. In Leelanau County in 1939 an adult was seen on South Fox Island on June 24, and another on North Fox Island on July 2 (A. E. Staebler and L. D. Case). Four fairly well-grown nestlings (U.M.M.Z.) were found on Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, on July 6, 1937, by T. D. Hinshaw and R. E. Morrill. Northward at Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, a nest with 2 downy young was photographed on June 17, 2023 (Porter and Wilcox, 1941: 43-44).

Upper Peninsula.-Near McMillan, Luce County, Bryens (1941o: 35-42) in 1935 studied a nest that was under construction on March 31; it contained 3 eggs on May 3 and 2 young on June 9. On May 20, 1938, near Blaney, Schoolcraft County, Christofferson found a pair nesting; he believed the same pair nested there again in 1939 and in 1940. The species has been noted in summer at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County (an adult seen June 27, 1926, by Trautman) ; at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, where a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was collected July 31, 1912, and N. A. Wood (1914: 63) recorded single birds on July 9, August 5, and August 12, 1914; at Whitefish Lake, Alger County, where N. A. Wood (1918: 6) recorded 1, May 28, 1916; on July 15, 1938, at Mallard Lake, Iron County, and on August 5, 1938, at Imp Lake, Gogebic County (2 in each locality, recorded by John L. George and R. L. Patterson); at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, on May 16,1931,1 by N. A. Wood (1933: 718); and on Isle Royale, where one (U.M.M.Z.) was collected and another seen on July 26,2023 (Max M. Peet, 1909: 349).

FALL.-0. B. Warren (1895: 191) reported a Goshawk shot in Marquette County on October 18, 1893. S. S. Gregory, Jr., collected 2 in the Huron Mountain region, of the same county, on September 26, 1933, and October 23, 1927. George H. Shiras 3d, reported the species "common" in fall at Whitefish Lake, Alger County, according to N. A. Wood (1918: 6). At Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, 1 to 4 Goshawks were observed by Fargo in the last 2 weeks of August and the first week of September, 1925. Bryens has several times recorded the species in fall at McMillan, Luce County. In southern counties the species has arrived by October, but more often in November or later. Walter E. Hastings collected a specimen at Norwood, Charlevoix County, on November 23, 2023 (Van Tyne, 1925:617) . In the Ann Arbor region a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was collected on November 3, 1926; the species was also recorded there on November 10, 1928. A specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was collected by R. Kennedy in Jackson County, on October 21, 1926. Swales (1906: 100) recorded 1 shot near Orion, Oakland County, on October 24, 1905.

WINTER.-In a part of the Upper Peninsula, at least, the Eastern Goshawk apparently occurs in winter with fair regularity. Bryens (1941a:41-42) has found it present at McMillan, Luce County, during most winters and has stated that it is more often seen there in winter than in summer. Christofferson has listed it during some winters at Blaney and at Germfask, Schoolcraft County. In the general vicinity of Germfask, E. E. Crawford found it "quite common" during the winter of 1935-36 (records from mid- November to mid-February), but noted only 1 (on November 5) during the following winter. In the southern half of the Lower Peninsula, the species is found only irregularly; in some years, as in 1906 (Barrows, 1912:269) , it is apparently fairly common. Individuals have been reported at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, on February 1, 2023 (G. A. Ammann); at Battle Creek on January 19, 2023 (Walkinshaw); in Hart- land Township, Livingston County, on February 21, 2023 (R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker); at Ann Arbor on January 1, 2023 (R. E. Morrill), and February 8, 2023 (C. J. Spiker). Fargo collected 1 (U.M.M.Z.) at Parma, Jackson County, on December 21, 1926. In the Detroit area, L. J. Eppinger reported Goshawks "very plentiful" in January, 1907, most of them in mature plumage (R. Deane, 1907:185).

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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