/gos"hawk'/, n.
any of several powerful, short-winged hawks, as Accipiter gentilis, of Europe and America, formerly much used in falconry.
[bef. 1000; ME goshauk, OE goshafoc. See GOOSE, HAWK1]

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Any of the more powerful accipiters (hawks in the genus Accipiter), primarily short-winged, forest-dwelling bird catchers.

Best known is the northern goshawk, which reaches about 2 ft (60 cm) in length with a 4.3-ft (1.3-m) wingspread and has finely barred gray plumage. Long used for falconry, the goshawk takes game as large as foxes and grouse. In the wild it lives in temperate to northern forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere, though it has become rare in the British Isles and is declining in North America. Several other species are found in the Southern Hemisphere.

Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis).

Karl H. Maslowski

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      any of the more powerful accipiters, or true hawks (i.e., belonging to the genus Accipiter), primarily short-winged, forest-dwelling bird catchers, of which the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) is best known. Originally called “goose hawk,” perhaps because of its size and its finely barred gray plumage, this bird reaches about 60 centimetres (2 feet) in length with a 1.3-m (4.3-ft) wingspread. It has long been used in falconry, where it once was reserved for the higher clergy. It takes game as large as foxes and grouse. In the wild it occurs in temperate to boreal forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere, although it has become rare in the British Isles and is declining in North America.

      Occurring in the Southern Hemisphere are several other goshawks of the genus Accipiter—including A. novaehollandiae of Australia, which is either gray or snowy white with a black beak and ruby-red eyes—and several birds of other genera also called goshawks: the red goshawk (Erythrotriorchis radiatus), a rare Australian bird, brown with relatively long wings and short tail; the chanting goshawks of Africa (two species of Melierax), named for their piping calls during breeding season, large, long-winged, strongly patterned birds of open country that forage on the ground, chiefly for lizards; and the closely related Gabar goshawk (Melierax, or Micronisus, gabar), also widespread in Africa but a smaller bird of the forests.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Goshawk — Gos hawk , n. [AS. g[=o]shafuc, lit., goosehawk; or Icel. g[=a]shaukr. See {Goose}, and {Hawk} the bird.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any large hawk of the genus {Astur}, of which many species and varieties are known. The European ({Astur palumbarius}) and the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • goshawk — O.E. goshafoc, lit. goose hawk, from gos goose (see GOOSE (Cf. goose)) + hafoc hawk (see HAWK (Cf. hawk)). Cf. O.N. gashaukr …   Etymology dictionary

  • goshawk — ► NOUN ▪ a short winged hawk resembling a large sparrowhawk. ORIGIN Old English, «goose hawk» …   English terms dictionary

  • goshawk — [gäs′hôk΄] n. [ME goshauk < OE goshafoc: see GOOSE & HAWK1] a large, swift, powerful hawk (Accipiter gentilis) with short wings and a long, rounded tail: see HAWK1 …   English World dictionary

  • Goshawk — Taxobox name = Goshawk status = LC status system = iucn3.1 status ref =IUCN2006|assessors=BirdLife International|year=2004|id=49405|title=Accipiter gentilis|downloaded=11 May 2006 Database entry includes justification for why this species is of… …   Wikipedia

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  • goshawk — /ˈgɒshɔk / (say goshawk) noun any of various powerful, short winged hawks, formerly much used in falconry, widely dispersed throughout the world, as the grey goshawk, Accipiter novaehollandiae, of Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea. {Middle… …  

  • Goshawk — This is a wonderful English surname of pre medieval origins. Recorded as Goshawk, Goshawke, and in early surviving church registers of the city of London, as Goschalk and Gottschalk, it is believed to be first recorded in East Anglia. In that… …   Surnames reference

  • goshawk — tikrieji vanagai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Accipiter angl. goshawk; hawk vok. Habicht, m; Sperber, m rus. ястреб, m pranc. autour, m; épervier, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – vanaginiai siauresnis terminas –… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Goshawk (disambiguation) — Goshawk may refer to: * Several species of birds of prey: ** Chinese Goshawk, Accipiter soloensis ** Crested Goshawk, Accipiter trivirgatus ** Dark Chanting Goshawk, Melierax metabates ** Frances Goshawk, Accipiter francesii ** Northern Goshawk,… …   Wikipedia

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