Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


"Notes," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1982) 50(2)

Copyright 1982, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


GOSHAWKS. Four times this past winter I found a Goshawk within a square mile area along the Platte River, near Morse Bluff in northwest Saunders Co. On 3 January 1982 I observed a large buteo-sized hawk alight in a tree about 100-130 yards from me. There was a thin overcast, and the bird was directly east of me in the early morning light, but I could note the accipiter silhouette. In general, observation conditions were not ideal. It was almost ‒15°, wind was calm, and humidity high, and both my glasses and my 10-power binoculars tended to steam up very quickly. To add to my problems, the bird took off as I approached and flew directly toward me, at which point the strap on my binoculars broke and tangled in an awkward way, and a Merlin burst out of the woods and flew over in almost the opposite direction. I could not note all the field marks but, as the first bird flew over me, the accipiter shape and flight pattern, the very lightly mottled, almost white underparts, the long barred tail, and the large size identified the bird to my satisfaction - my first Goshawk in 35 years of birding!