Home range size, habitat use, activity patterns and hunting behaviour of urban-breeding Northern Goshawks Accipiter gentilis

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) Science Article 4


The Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis typically prefers woodland habitat for nesting and hunting. In recent decades, however, the species has started colonising urban environments across Europe. Here I present the first study on the ranging behaviour of urban-breeding Goshawks. Each year from 1997 to 1999, I tracked a different adult male during the breeding season in the city of Hamburg, Germany (858 hours of total tracking time; n = 5364 radio-fixes). All corresponding pairs raised young in the year of data collection (3, 3 and 4 juveniles). Average home range size was 863 ha (100% Minimum Convex Polygons). Males spent 88% of daylight hours in patches of urban green space (mainly parks) and made short but regular hunting excursions into the matrix of built-up habitat. Built-up habitat was used less frequently than expected from its percentage availability

Rutz C., ARDEA 94 (2): 185-202.

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