Sunday, February 04, 2007

Goshawk Wing Prints


christine said...

These are so beautiful. Do I remember right that you saw the Goshawk take flight?

Lane Robson said...

Yes, I saw the hawk take off and almost walked by the prints. They were immediately beside the trail. The snow was not fresh and had thawed and cooled probably once. The impressions were therefore the result of some considerable pressure, which surprised me. Feathers are considered light and delicate, but pressed down with the shoulder muscles of raptor, they made this impression. Looking closer, I saw blood spatter. The Goshawk was eating something. There were bits of flesh as well, but no feathers, so I presume the prey was a small mammal. The Goshawk landed about 50 meters ahead and I was able to get a good enough look with the second sighting to make an ID, but I never saw the prey. The next flight was deep into the forest. The Northern Goshawk is the largest accipiter, and the only one to routinely winter in Alberta, and to have a white eyebrow. The ID was easier than most.