Young female Goshawk attacked by Kestrel in the Eifel

While observing the bird migration on the Bürvenicher Berg at the edge of the Eifel, I could see a young Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) flying elegantly low over a field. Striking were the size and the flight pattern on top, which was determined by a brown color and the rather broad, curved wings at the rear edge. A powerful bird that then perched in a dry elderberry tip. Immediately a male of a pair of Eurasian Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus), which had been sitting on its perch significantly further down the slope, started calling. The young female hawk was not impressed by this. Thereupon the young Goshawk was vehemently attacked first by the male, then also by the female Eurasian Kestrel. Above all, the male of the Kestrel rose regularly in the morning sky, then hit the edge of the forest with the elderberry with flung wings, caught himself in the fall less than 3 meters above the Goshawk and circled around and in close contact the bare branches of the bush. The young female Goshawk did recognize that it was the subject of the attacks, regularly turned her head in the direction of the attacker, then sometimes up in the sky. All in all, however, she remained extremely unimpressed and did not let her morning perch scare her away.

The female of the Kestrel could also be heard quite loudly, but did not step into such a vehement attack and stayed largely away from the flight action. In an unobserved moment the female Goshawk must have withdrawn, because the bush was suddenly empty, whereupon the male Kestrel could be heard a few more times with his kicking noises, but then withdrew again to its exposed perch further down the slope.

The species, the Goshawk, is actually a resident bird in Central Europe. However, the offspring of the year tends to roam as they have to move out of parental territory. However, they show a rather non-directional dispersion. The distances to the place of birth are usually less than 30 km in Central Europe. Nevertheless, you can see young goshawks migration increasingly in fall. In the past few years has been on the road again and again in autumn to specifically seek out locations that are regularly frequented or passed by Goshawks. On the one hand, elevated viewpoints in low mountain ranges are worthwhile. If you have found a place with a certain guiding effect, immature specimens can be observed very well there with some patience. I could see a young female Goshawk at a lookout tower in the Taunus several times. This resulted in wonderful flight images of this hawk. As strong and breast-heavy as in the pictures in the gallery, it can be easily distinguished from the Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) in proportion alone.

Another tip for Goshawk-observation is to look for wetlands in late summer or early fall, where many (larger) birds rest and / or moult and are therefore available as prey for even inexperienced goshawks.

For aerial photography of goshawks, it is also worth staying outdoors on mild days in late winter and early spring. Then the Goshawks can be seen in their mating rituals – the courtship flights – and aerial games. Basically they can be observed at all times of the year, most reliably in good weather. However, the distances are often far away.

This morning dragged on with many migratory observations, among others Song Thrushes (Turdus philomelos) and Mistle Thrushes (Turdus viscivorus). Striking were the many Eurasian Skylarks (Alauda arvensis), which called their typical contact sounds in flight. The Larks could be observed from afar in the east and then made a lap of honor on the mountain. This was often used to fly back and forth. There were repeated flight maneuvers and interactions between individual specimens, which seemed to show a certain fun factor.

The Bürvenicher Berg is located between Bürvenich (city of Zülpich) and Floisdorf (city of Mechernich). You can observe from different points and follow bird migration with a scope or the binocular. The best way to park the car is coming from Zülpich-Bürvenich or Mechernich-Floisdorf, above the Achemer mill in the direction of Berg. About 100 meters behind an information board on the Nature Reserve Tötschberg, a dirt road goes right up to the lookout point.

In order to meet the growing demand for top images of the rarer species of Palaearctic has specifically made trips to remote places. Additionally every chance is used, if a rare bird is around the homeground. This to do everything to ensure excellent photos of the Birds of the Western Palearctic . The yield of pictures also of rare Western Palaearctic birds is very good. There are other nice images of birds, that you will find behind the tab “Picture Shop“. Just give a notice if you need a picture of a bird which is not online.

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