The goshawk bird

   The goshawk is a fine, large hawk of the falcon family. The name is derived from an old English word meaning a goose hawk, or a hawk used to take geese. Falconers train the goshawk to take rabbits and hares as well. Unlike the falcon that strikes from above, the goshawk follows its prey in a straight line and strikes from behind. The female is about twenty-four inches in extreme length. The male is smaller. Both sexes are slaty blue on the upper parts. The under parts are cross-barred with dark color on a whitish ground. The American goshawk nests in Canada, but winters as far south as Vir­ginia. It is bluer in color than the common henhawk. A naturalist says of this species: "It is the most daring of all the hawks, and while in pursuit of its prey is apparently less concerned by the presence of man than any other. It will dart down unexpectedly at the feet of the farmer and carry off the fowl." A pair of these hawks will extermínate a flock of prairie chickens or ptarmigans.