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My Column: The Day I Broke the Law

Cooper's Hawk or Goshawk?

Tom Jaeger recently mentioned that he saw a Northern Goshawk in the Celery Farm two years ago -- and sent some photos that help prove it. (Click image to enlarge.)

Tom writes: "[I saw it on] August 4, 2020,  on the Southeast side of the lake between the first bench headed North and the Pirie Mayhood Tower Markers 5 And 7.

"It flew down the Allendale Brook under the branches and landed on a tree, I was heading south and caught up with it!"

(I have never seen a goshawk, let alone one a half-mile from my Allendale backyard.)

The most recent eBird sighting I saw for a Northern Goshawk at the CF was by Rob Fanning back in April 2001. It is also listed as the first sighting.

Fred Weber reports seeing one in 2018:  "I saw one there 11/21/08 from Pirie tower, a flyby."

But is it a Northern Goshawk, a Cooper's Hawk, a hybrid or ...?

Several experts have weighed in, with arguments made for each of the above.

I am including three of Tom's images here, with a link to the images on Tom's Flickr pages

Thanks, Tom!

I will post some of the expert comments as time allows...