The Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) is not a rare bird in Sweden but a very shy raptor that is difficult to get close to. We have created a “Goshawk restaurant” where Goshawks have come to feed the last three winters. Here we have built a comfortable photo-hide where 2 persons can sit and study/ film or photograph the Goshawks from very close range. The adult Goshawk is a beautiful raptor with its finely barred, silver-white chest and dark, ash-grey upperparts. It is only 20 meters away from you and it is important that you move your camera very slowly as you take your first pictures. You´ve probably never been this close to a Goshawk before.
The hide stands in a little glade in the pine forest. It is within a Goshawk territory so the birds come to feed regularly. The Goshawks might not be quite as shy as an Eagle but it is still very important that you sit quietly and move soundless in the hide. The hide offers excellent photo-opportunities at very close range. There are several perches for the Hawks put up within 20-30 meters from the hide, most of them rather low with a dark background, one stands up against the sky to give variety. We feed the Goshawks natural prey like birds and small mammals.
The hide is well insulated to keep the cold outside and the heat in. There´s a soundless and odour-free gas heater that you light on arrival to get the hide warmed up. Despite minus 10-20° C outside in winter it easily gets +20 or more inside. You sit in comfortable easy arm-chairs with a soft sheep-skin-rug on. During quiet periods you can enjoy reading notes from previous visitors in the logbook.
When? How? For whom?
Season: November - March. We guide you out to the hide. The walk is only about 200 meters on a track on flat ground. You need to enter before dawn and stay til after dusk to avoid disturbance. This is a product for the patient and dedicated raptor enthusiast or photographer/ film maker.
The Goshawk hide stands by a clearing in the pine forest of the Black River Valley in Västmanland, central Sweden. This is privately owned land and we collaborate with the land owner and local hunters so the risk for human disturbance is very little. There is also a rich wildlife in the area with Moose, Wild boar, Roe Deer and Lynx.
Did you know that...
the Northern Goshawk is a well distributed raptor in Sweden and the breeding population is estimated to 7.600 pairs. Young Goshawks often migrate to urban areas for the winter, where they can find an abundance of prey like ducks, pigeons and corvids. The adults however normally stay all year around in their territory. In the forest they prey on medium sized birds like Grouse, Jays but also Squirrels.
The Goshawk is a very powerful and dominant raptor that can kill other birds of prey in the neighbourhood, even bigger than themselves, like Honey Buzzards for instance. The Goshawks can breed a long time in the same territory and they normally have several nests to alter between. Empty Goshawk nests can be used by other raptors and Owls, like Great Grey and Ural Owl. A Goshawk nest is usually built very high up in a fur tree and since it´s build on year after year, they can become really big and almost be as big as Eagle nests.
Juvenile or adult hawk?
It is not difficult to separate juvenile and adult Goshawks. The young birds are boldly streaked on a buffish ground colour below and brown with pale scales on the back. The adults are almost silvery white with a fine, dark barring below and dark ashy grey above. Simply a beautiful bird of prey. Welcome to enjoy it!
· November - March
· Maximum 3 persons
· Included: Guiding, breakfast, snacks for the session with hot and cold drinks.
· In the hide there are slippers (take off your boots), comfortable chairs, sheepskins, blankets, candles, matches, flashlight and a logbook to read and write in.
· Bring your own:
Camera, binoculars, headlamp, water bottle, warm clothes and waterproof boots (the bog can be very wet even in winter). You don't have to bring a tripod, just the head. There are holes in the windowsill where you can fix the tripod head and camera. There are 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch screws, there's also a bean bag for those who prefer that.
2 400 SEK/person
B&B no dinner (selfcatering): 650 SEK extra
B&B with dinner: 850 SEK extra
Night in hotel: 1.150 SEK extra. (Prices per person in double room)
Single room supplement: 200 SEK
The journey is a collaboration between
BirdSafarisweden and Karlmark Travel. (Karlmark Travels holds the travel
warranty insurance that covers this trip)