UK Birds of Prey | Goshawk

Goshawk perched on a log

In this new series of blog posts, we will be exploring the different species of Bird of Prey that can be found around the UK, where and when to find them, general statistics and their current conservation status. We will look at a different species each month, starting this month with the Goshawk. 

Goshawks can fly at speeds of up to 40km per hour and hunt other birds and small mammals. Their impressive hunting skills make them a very popular bird for falconers.

Goshawk Statistics

Size: Average 55cm, females (1.5kg) larger than males (850g).

Wingspan: 110cm.

Lifespan: Average lifespan of 7 years in the wild.

Number of eggs: 3-4.

Incubation: 35-38 days.

Fledging time: 35-42 days.

Goshawk flying through the sky


The current conservation status of the Goshawk is Least Concern, however this has not always been the case. In the 19th Century they were all but extinct in the wild, however through the efforts of breeding programmes (and some accidental escapes), the numbers began to gradually increase. Their numbers were threatened due to habitat loss and persecution by gamekeepers. 

Where and When to Find Goshawks

The Goshawk can be found across the UK, but more often localised in Wales, Northern England and Southern and Eastern Scotland. Their typical habitat is coniferous forests.

They can be seen all year round, however it is best to look during clear days in late spring and winter.

They can be recognised by their dark head with a wide white stripe over the eye and their orange/red eyes.


Goshawk perched on a log

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