Friday, March 3, 2017

Massapequa Preserve: Northern Goshawk

Following a post on Long Island Wildlife it became clear that an immature Goshawk had been seen in the northwest section of Massapequa Preserve last Sunday.  A post by a non-birder of a hawk on Monday may have also been the same bird (instead of a Cooper's Hawk).  I also realized that a "Cooper's Hawk" I saw recently by Parkside Drive being harassed by Blue Jays might actually have been this Goshawk. I tried unsuccessfully to find it yesterday (I did see a Merlin)  I tried again today with Snouty and we were very lucky to find it.  We tried looking in the areas NW and SW of the Walker Street parking lot and only found a Red Tailed Hawk that didn't seem to mind us.  We also saw a Yellow Bellied Sapsucker.  I figured we should search some areas of the preserve south of where we were, and decided to try by the "Doris Place" pond.  After almost giving up I looked to the west of the pond and saw the Goshawk perched.  Before I could get a photo it took off flying south into the woods, coming very close to the ground where we lost it.  Snouty focused on the prominent white patch above it's eye to confirm the ID.  The large size and proportion of the head to body also helped confirm the ID.  I'll try to find it again next time I visit - it's alarming to realize that if we didn't visit the Doris Place pond we would have missed it.

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