American Goshawk (Accipiter atricapillus)

This American Goshawk was injured in February 2009 as a juvenile.  He was found in Kersey, Colorado, on the side of a road with a fractured skull and a fractured right humerus (upper wing bone).  The skull fracture and head trauma left him with vision deficits making him non-releasable.

Later in 2009 he molted into adult feather plumage. He grew up with a very gentle and calm demeanor…nothing like a normal adult Goshawk! Goshawks tend to be high-strung and aggressive, and aren’t commonly seen as education ambassadors.

American Goshawks are the largest accipiter of North America, and are well built for maneuvering between trees while chasing food on the wing.  Because of their hunting style and preference for forested habitat, they are a rare species for people to see out in the wild!  As an Educational Ambassador, Galileo is able to allow people to see and appreciate this often hard to see bird.

This gentle, agreeable accipiter may not be your typical Goshawk, but his sweet personality makes him the hit of open houses and behind-the-scenes tours.

This American Goshawk is named after the astronomer Galileo – always looking at the stars. Because of his vision deficits, he often sits with his head pointed up while relaxing in his enclosure.