Pennsylvania Game Commission seeking public help in hawk spotting

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Northern Goshawk

The Northern Goshawk- image courtesy PA Game Commission

HARRISBURG, Pa.-- Pennsylvania Game Commissions officials are concerned about the declining populations and a contracted range, Northern Goshawks.  Game biologies say the forest raptor has become rarer sights in Pennsylvania.

Birders in particular can help track the Goshawk's activity in the Commonwealth by serving as citizens scientists.  The Game Commission is asking the public to report their observations of the species.

The Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) is a large raptor nesting in mature, mixed forests across northern Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan identifies the goshawk as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need – wildlife with low or declining populations that are in need of conservation action – and highlights the need for information on the abundance and distribution of breeding goshawks across the state.

Since 2017, the Pennsylvania Goshawk Project (run by a subcommittee of the Ornithological Technical Committee of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Game Commission) has collected reports of goshawk sightings in the state.

The Pennsylvania Goshawk Project continues to seek information related to sightings. Any goshawk observations should be sent to Reports are confidential to protect the birds.

Your assistance with finding goshawk territories and nests helps with our research and conservation efforts to protect this species and its habitat.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Goshawk Project, visit You can find images and audio files to aid identification as well as forms, instructions, and contact information.

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