[Tweeters] Goshawk in Ballard? I must be crazy...

Mike Wagenbach wagen at uw.edu
Sun Sep 17 10:10:21 PDT 2017


Last week (Wednesday) at about 6 PM I saw a large accipiter roughly over
the intersection of 62nd St and 34th Ave NW in Ballard/Sunset Hill. It
seemed to be the largest accipiter I've seen in the wild, barring one
credible Goshawk over the Snoqualmie River below the falls long ago.
The geometry of its position relative to houses and trees seemed to
preclude it being an average-sized Cooper's that was closer than I thought.

I don't get to spend much time observing accipiters, but the most
unusual thing about it was that it's flight was direct: I saw ten to
twelve steady wingbeats without a glide, which isn't surprising since it
was flying slightly uphill and against the wind. The beats also seemed
pretty slow (consistent with it being bigger than the average Coop).

I'm certainly not counting Northern Goshawk as a "yard bird." Not
planning to become the guy who wanted to turn every accipiter into a
Goshawk. I'm just curious whether the popular wisdom would consider
seeing a Goshawk there "extremely unlikely" or flat-out "incredible."


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