Introduced to CITES appendix II. This species is not endangered, the possibility of receiving permission for its capture and housing is not excluded.
This bird of prey is from the Accipitridae family, which is spread widely throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Northern Goshawks are the largest type of hawk. Males usually weigh between 630 and 1100 grams, measuring approximately 55 cm in height, with a wingspan of 98-104 cm. Females are a little larger, weighing 860-1600 grams, with an approximate height of 61 cm and a 105-115 cm wingspan. All hawks, including Northern Goshawks, share the feature of having white feathers above the eyes, which creates the impression of the bird having white eyebrows. For the Northern Goshawk, these feathers are wider and longer than those of other members of the genus, almost meeting at the back of the head. Eye colour in adults is red or reddish-brown, whereas young animals have bright yellow eyes.
During winter, the bird lives in river valley and mountainous areas. In the spring and autumn migration seasons, Northern Goshawks will generally be found in the lowland areas of Uzbekistan. A large portion of the population live a fairly sedentary lifestyle, occupying one territory throughout their entire lives. The only migratory population of Northern Goshawks is considered to be one that breeds in northern and north-western North America, for in winter they migrate south.
Northern Goshawks are strictly territorial, keeping within their own territory. Before and during the construction of their nest, a breeding pair will clearly demonstrate their ownership with aerial pirouettes. If their territory is invaded, the pair will frantically defend the ownership of their surroundings.
These birds of prey hunt smaller birds, mammals, invertebrates and both medium and large reptiles. The weight of the prey can be up to half the weight of the predator. The diets of different populations differ from each other, depending on the surrounding area, but more generally they prey on hares and squirrels.
Usually, the female lays between 2 and 4 eggs at intervals of 2-3 days. The eggs’ dimensions are 59 x 45 mm; they are rough to the touch and bluish-white in colour. Chicks begin to hatch approximately 28-38 days later. The female does most of the incubation, but the male replaces her whilst she hunts to feed herself. When the offspring hatch, the female remains in the nest for another 25 days with her young, with all the responsibilities of catching prey falling to the male. The chicks remain in the nest for 34 or 35 days, after which begin to move to the neighbouring branches of the same tree. At between 35 and 46 days, the young birds start to fly, but nevertheless continue to be fed by their parents until they are 70 days old. Full independence often comes suddenly, and 95% of all young hawks become independent by the age of 95 days. They reach sexual maturity after one year.
In comparison with falcons, the Northern Goshawk learns faster and more easily. Domestication begins with the hunter frequently carrying the bird on their arm, from time to time stroking his head, chest and back. That said it is not recommended to stroke a Northern Goshawk as often as is done when training falcons. The bird learns quickly when its weight is slightly below the normative average. It should be taken in to consideration that while a hawk loses weight, its chest muscles and leg muscles are weakened, so they should be fed low-fat meat once a day. When the bird is finally used to people, its training can begin. To start with the hawk can be shown a titbit of meat at close range, raising the hand holding the bait to between 1.5 and 2 meters above the ground. When the bird sees the meat, it will quickly take flight and sit on the trainer’s arm. To reward the bird, allow them to nibble on the meat. Gradually, the distance between a hawk and their trainer is extended, but by no more than 40-50 meters. If you feed the bird from a short distance away, then he will walk along the ground after becoming used to the sight of meat in a person’s hands. In such cases, the trainer shows the bird of prey the meat from different angles, turning around on both legs to the right, then the left side. The bird will then revolve around the trainer, trying to get the meat, and will ultimately, takes off to take it from master's hand.
The process of training a Northern Goshawk takes one and a half months. The female, as is the case with all birds of prey, is stronger and heavier than the male. For this reason, hunters prefer to train females. We use Northern Goshawks to hunt hares, pheasants, partridges and ducks, hunting in the morning and the evening. In the middle of the day, while there is hot weather, birds are not flown, as when it is too hot, they will not notice a hare whilst flying at a height and will sometimes fly away in to a thicket. Hunting with Northern Goshawks takes place between September and April. During this time, whilst the weather is wintry, handlers will often stop feeding their birds once a day, so as for them not to become overweight. When it is not the hunting season, keep the Northern Goshawk tied somewhere in the shade and well-fed on bird carcasses, such as jackdaws and crows, throwing them to them whole and definitely fresh. During this time the hawk will moult. Moulting takes place over four to four and a half months and by October the bird has an entirely new set of feathers. The moult begins with the changing of the bird’s large feathers (primaries and tail feathers).During the summer, the bird puts on weight. If a Northern Goshawk is sent after game in this condition, it will not catch the prey. For this reason, every year, until the beginning of the hunting season, they are fed macerated meat once a day, ensuring that the meat is not too fatty. In this way, little by little, the hunter gets the bird to slightly under its normal body weight. The day before the hunt, the hunter gives the bird soaked meat. At the beginning of the season, on the first day of hunting, bird and man hunt once and not for too long. The first game that has been caught should be fed to the Northern Goshawk on this spot. The next expedition takes place one or two days after the first one. This time, you may go out twice a day, but again not for too long. Whilst the bird is still getting used to hunting again, it needs be allowed time to adjust. Only when the Northern Goshawk is able to attack and catch game without missing it, can you hunt every day, still with a few short breaks.
The Northern Goshawk is a common and affordable bird of prey. In Uzbekistan you will come across these birds during winter, as well as during their autumn and spring migrations. Hawks are a set of species that are possible to hunt very widely with, in different situations. The Northern Goshawk is essentially content with simplicity and easy to train. Northern Goshawk are unsurpassed in their ability to be quick off the mark and it is easy to hunt with a Northern Goshawk on foot. One hunting bell is sufficient to hunt with the Northern Goshawk; eliminating the need for expensive telemetry.
1. Meklenburtsev RN, Sagitov AK Kashkarov DY, Mitropolsky OV ER Fotteler, Tretyakov GP, Ostapenko MM Nazarov, AP Birds of Uzbekistan, including Tashkent 1. ‘Fan’ of the Uzbek SSR. 1987.